Jaden Smith: ‘Younger generations do care more about the planet’


Jaden Smith, 19, is an interesting person. I don’t always care for him and some of his free-association interviews, but I don’t dismiss him. Sure, he’s had advantages that very few his age have had but he’s done some interesting thing with those advantages. Like getting involved with the environmentally conscientious JUST Water company at the age of 15. JUST Water uses paper-based packaging that produces lower carbon emissions than a standard plastic bottle and pulls its water from a sustainable source. Jaden is one of many involved in JUST, it’s a veritable who’s-who of business and entertainment powerhouses, including his parents, Will and Jada Smith. JUST Water is coming out with some flavor-infused waters, which gave Jaden a chance to discuss the company, his environmental habits, and the planet.

On which generation cares more about the planet: I feel like the younger generations do care more about the planet than the other generations. There’s more information coming out on a daily basis about the effect that climate change has on all of us.

On how has working with JUST Water changed your habits:
Starting JUST has really changed my entire life because of the ethos of what we’re doing. It’s kind of when I was 11 and I was learning about the Pacific patches and the plastics in the ocean. It’s completely changed my perspective on what I thought the world was before I learned about that.

On seeing the gigantic plastic island in the middle of the ocean: It felt like I had been lied to my whole life, and that people actually weren’t telling me the truth about what world I was living in.

And it feels kind of terrible. Those microplastics [in the ocean] break down, fish swallow them, and then we eat the fish, and those microplastics end up in our gut.

That’s what happens. So people need to realize that the effect of climate change is serious and in 2050 there will be 50 million climate change refugees if we don’t do anything about it.

On the importance of making 100% recyclable materials: It’s so important to me because recycling is really important. Being able to recycle this bottle the same way as an orange juice or milk carton is great. But what’s most important to me is the use of renewable materials that grow back, especially those that aren’t petroleum based or oil based. Petroleum based plastic is a finite amount of resources that we have. Also, we burn so much CO2 emissions while extracting it, and burning it, and creating it. So, I’m just glad that this is made out of renewable resources.

[From Buzzfeed]

I don’t dispute what he’s saying. I think the younger generations are more concerned about the planet because they know so much more about it than we did (even though Jaden believes we were all much more learned in the 70s). When I was a kid, we learned about the hole in the ozone layer and stopped using aerosol cans. Being raised in California, I have completely different water habits than my non-Cal friends. But my kids school me all the time with ways I can improve. To his credit, I think that’s what Jaden is implying when he talks about new information coming out. I didn’t learn about the ocean’s plastic problem until I’d read The Sex Lives of Cannibals. I was much older than 11 but I did change the things I buy and discard as a result.

On the JUST website FAQs they promote “reusable drinking water carriers” with filtered tap water as the best option for the environment but if you have to get water on the go, they want us to consider JUST because of the packaging. They also source their water from the base of the Adirondack Mountains in Glen Falls, NY. So pulling the water will not do any damage and JUST pays six times the highest local municipal rate, which benefits the community. I like that. JUST states they are, “A business that combines for-profit energy with non-profit motives.” With that being the case, I’ll just put it out there: I’d love to write a post about truckloads of JUST Water being delivered to Puerto Rico, Cape Town or cities suffering Flint’s fate – anywhere that needs both water and attention.




Photo credit: WENN Photos

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13 Responses to “Jaden Smith: ‘Younger generations do care more about the planet’”

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  1. Una says:

    We have to be. We are going to live in it.

  2. psl says:

    Wait….that was a coherent sentence!

    He usually says…….most of the time I can’t even decipher it…..

  3. adastraperaspera says:

    I hope he keeps supporting this cause. And he’s right, we all have so much more info available now.

  4. minx says:

    I don’t like sweeping generalizations. I’m a Boomer and I care plenty.

    • Lyka says:

      Sometimes generalizations are true though?

      He said younger generations have more information available, and from an earlier age – by and large, I think it’s pretty verifiable that Millennials and Generation Z adults will have spent a greater proportion of their lives recycling, reusing, composting etc. than the generations that came before. It’s not an indictment on individuals in older generations; it’s a literal truth about how issue awareness expands due to information technology and more robust research over time.

    • Erinn says:

      And yet, he didn’t say boomers didn’t care. Just that younger generations care more.

  5. BobaFelty says:

    It’s easier to be aware and concerned about a topic once it gains widespread public awareness. If you grow up aware and already incorporating habits into your lifestyle, it’s much easier than changing behavior as an adult.

    I cut Jaden a lot of slack. His parents are super wealthy and could have easily provided him with a world class education. Instead they sent him to a glorified Scientology school and not focus on education at all.

    • ABC says:

      Plus (and no slight on Jaden here) it’s so much easier to be aware of causes when you don’t have reality to cope with. I was absolutely environmental / green / re-use etc when I was younger (30 plus years ago) and prob drove my parents nuts with my teensplaining. Now, working full time with home, family, pets, bills etc I don’t have the same time or emotional energy to invest. I still do my ‘bit’ but with nothing like the activism I felt in my youth.

      Some people still do it and that’s admirable but I think the bulk of us settle with mortgages and the day to day and the next thing we know we’re dead. So I’m glad he’s saying stuff. Will he still be saying it if he had to work two jobs to put his kids through childcare however? And is there a balance? I’d love to find it if there is!

  6. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I’m perfectly fine telling my kids they’re much smarter than earlier generations. I expect them to be… actually I kind of demand it lol. With everything available to accompany and support studies, hobbies, entertainment, etc, their intellectual coffers should be consistently well fed. I personally can’t watch shows or movies or read without my tablet close by as I’m always looking things up lol. Now if I could just discover a retention pill I’d be all set.

  7. Annabel says:

    Cool story, Jaden, but my Boomer parents were getting themselves arrested at environmental protests before you were born.

  8. Margo S. says:

    I like jayden. I like what he’s doing with this. I don’t buy bottled water, I use filtered tap in a recyclable to go cup, but if for any reason I need water (like maybe a big party?) I’m buying this.

  9. raincoaster says:

    Twenty years ago I went door to door raising money for Greenpeace, and I can confirm that the kids are completely engaged with the fate of the planet. Kids are natural crusaders. I knew if I could get the kids talking about the planet, the parents would talk about it too, and maybe even donate. It’s one of the things that makes this shriveled heart beat a little faster, that the younger generation is ALWAYS optimistic, and willing to take on the work.

  10. Lis says:

    What a self important idiot. I cared about the environment in the seventies and eighties before he was even born.