Real Leaders

Jaden Smith Brings Clean Water to Flint

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - MAY 30: Jaden Smith attends the 29th Annual Environmental Media Awards at Montage Beverly Hills on May 30, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

Actor and rapper Jaden Smith is tapping into uncharted waters to lead a community effort.

Flint, Michigan faced a water crisis when the city switched its new water source to the Flint River in 2014. Without corrosion controls, the city’s old pipes leached lead into Flint’s water, transforming the city’s water into poison.

Five years later, Flint’s citizens are still apprehensive of their tap water, relying instead on bottled water. While this may have solved the problem of potable water, it hasn’t helped the city’s environmental impact.

Enter Jaden Smith, who has transcended his celebrity status to support environmental advocacy and social entrepreneurship with his company JUST Water. Specializing in bottled water manufacturing, JUST Water values sustainability and community above all. The JUST Water bottles are 100% recyclable and made entirely from sustainable materials — paper, plant-based plastic, and sugarcane. These renewable resources are less toxic than traditional plastic bottles and result in less carbon emissions.

Seeing the opportunity to make a difference, Jaden and JUST have brought their pledge of clean, sustainable water to Flint, partnering with the local First Trinity Baptist Church to create “The Water Box.” This is a smaller version of the filtration system used at the JUST Water plant which reduces contaminants—primarily lead—from the water supply. The mobile filtration system generates more than ten gallons of filtered water a minute, giving Flint’s residents a water source they can trust — something they haven’t had for years.

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