We asked 30 people who we admire to each interview one person they admire. That’s the concept behind the Interview Issue presented by Design Within Reach.
Surf Lodge cofounder Jayma Cardoso chose actor/singer/environmentalist/genetic-lottery-winner Jaden Smith
Jayma Cardoso: I understand you love to surf. What is your perfect day and perfect place to surf?
Jaden Smith: Surfing means a lot to me. A dream surf day would be waking up in a tropical place, possibly Kauai or somewhere magical like that. Being in a clean ocean, having the taste of salt water in a pristine scape… I can see it in my mind. Perfect head high waves, no crowds and just the smiles of my friends next to me. I can’t say I have a perfect place to surf as it changes and I’m not yet done exploring. Quite possibly my true perfect place I’ve yet to find.
JC: People probably think of you first as an actor or a musician… but I understand you’re an environmentalist as well. Is there a certain cause you feel strongly about?
JS: It’s hard to pick merely one cause, because there’s so much work to be done and so many causes are interrelated. An issue I’m very passionate about is reducing the amount of plastic on our planet. Clean energy and reducing plastic waste is at the core of why we started JUST. This is a huge issue that we all need to be aware of. This last year we re-engineered the bottle top of our JUST bottle and made it from sugarcane—plant plastic. Our bottle is now made from 82% renewable resources between the paper bottle and plant-plastic top, and reduces carbon emissions by 74% compared to a traditional plastic bottle.
I remember seeing bottles float by when I was surfing and that image wouldn’t leave my mind.
JC: JUST water, is a paper bottled water company you started. It’s a smart solution to tackle the problem of excessive fossil fuels in packaging while starting a newer model for protecting watersheds. Can you tell me about your inspiration to start JUST?
JS: For me, the inspiration of JUST started when I was around 11, I saw so many plastic bottles in the oceans and beaches where I lived and visited. I remember seeing bottles float by when I was surfing and that image wouldn’t leave my mind. At the same time, I was learning about plastic islands and Pacific patches of trash that are being formed and floating in our oceans. This plastic breaks down into micro-plastics and then eventually gets in fish and truly doesn’t ever leave.
As human beings, the relationship with our planet is everything. I want to rid single-use PET plastic bottles from this planet. The idea that putting cleaner products in people’s hands could be a conduit for educating them about larger issues in the world, is at the heart of JUST. JUST water and future JUST products are lenses into a broader world of innovative impact issues and activities that we are currently working on.
Every decision we make has an effect—if we think about each small thing we do on a daily basis and what effect it has on our planet, I think a lot would change.
JC: For people like myself who are interested in protecting our oceans, do you have some suggestions or tips on how one can activate and help out?
JS: We all must start by giving the planet our respect, shown through our actions. Every decision we make has an effect—if we think about each small thing we do on a daily basis and what effect it has on our planet, I think a lot would change. Know what you’re purchasing, support products, brands and people that you believe in and that have a sustainable, conscious approach. Right now, I’m working on JUST to build where we take plastic and upcycle it into tables, chairs, school desks and use this plastic that won’t ever leave our planet and make something from it. There are so many things we can do, staying engaged and informed is the best place we can all start.
JC: I need some new songs plugged into my iPhone… what should I be listening too for my next beach day?
JS: ¿Téo?, “Uno Dos” and Harry Hudson, “Cry for Love”