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Rob Machado Foundation to Provide Eco-Friendly Resources

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The Rob Machado Foundation (RMF), founded in 2004 by Encinitas surfer Rob Machado, provides funding and initiates educational programs to help children understand their contribution towards a healthy earth. As part of the school’s efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle, LCC has requested three to four “Hydration Nation” bottle refill stations from the RMF, which is in process of reviewing this request. RMF will be providing dual recycle and trash bins to LCC in the near future.

“We really try to focus on students because they are the future,” Programs Manager Gabriela Aoun said. “We want the impact that they experience in school to carry on with them their entire lives and for them to become environmental stewards when they go out into the world.”

RMF emphasizes reduction and reuse, with recycling as a last resort. The goal of the “Hydration Nation” program is to reduce plastic use.

“We want kids to use reusable bottles, not go to the vending machine and use single-use plastic water bottles,” Aoun said. “We donate the recycling bins because it’s inevitable that people use single-use plastic or materials, but the message we really want to get across is we do want to reduce use and impact overall, before you even have to recycle.”

Although a water bottle may seem inconsequential, plastics can significantly impact nature, according to Aoun.

“The bottom line is if these plastics are not disposed of properly, and even if they are, they usually end up in our waterways, which inevitably flow into the ocean,” Aoun said. “Marine life consumes them. We end up consuming those plastics because the marine life did. This is an ocean-based community and they pollute one of our greatest assets.”

We really try to focus on students because they are the future. We want the impact they experience to carry on their entire lives and for them to become environmental stewards when they go out into the world.”

— Gabriela Aoun

The impact of single-use plastic water bottles expands beyond the impact on the environment. Spanish teacher Ryan Guista has a class policy that students may leave class without using a bathroom pass to refill reusable water bottles.

“[Single-use plastic water bottles] drive me crazy,” Guista said. “Students don’t understand that plastic is from petroleum, and petroleum is from oil and a lot of oil we are fighting wars over.”

Students will soon see the new recycle and trash bins around the student center to reduce the amount of litter left on the ground after lunch. These containers are covered to prevent seagulls from spreading the trash and recycling materials around campus and to local beaches.

The RMF bottle refill stations would allow students to fill reusable water bottles with cool, filtered water with greater ease, replacing several of the water fountains in central locations.

“[The stations] would be a huge hit, which I think would be game-changing on campus,” Principal Bryan Marcus said. “It’s such a valuable thing for the students. They all would bring some sort of reusable water container.”

The efforts by the RMF will complement the school’s plan for more efficient and widespread recycling in partnership with EDCO, the waste and recycling company that services LCC and the environmental O2 for Life Club on campus.

“We are starting fresh,” Marcus said. “We’re trying to get kids re-focused on making sure that they are being environmentally conscious.”

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Rob Machado Foundation to Provide Eco-Friendly Resources