If you’ve been paying attention to the presidential primaries on either side of the aisle, chances are you’ve heard about two major themes from both the former and the remaining presidential candidates: the economy and the environment.

Former 2008 Republican presidential candidate Duncan Hunter of California urged Americans in a pre-Christmas debate to buy American when we shopped for Christmas gifts. Many of the Democratic candidates have made trade policy and the environment a major issue, and all the remaining candidates continue to talk about their vision to create jobs and bolster the American economy.

Regardless of how you feel about global warming, most Americans agree that protecting the environment is a good idea, but how do you go green and remain red, white and blue, too? You can buy American and buy what’s good for the environment at the same time by purchasing Preserve products at Recycline.com.

Preserve products are available at thousands of retail locations in the United States including Target stores, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods Market – exclusive carrier of the Preserve Kitchen line of products. You can use their online store finder to locate the stores nearest you.

Buying American doesn’t have to be something you consider only when buying big ticket items like automobiles, washing machines and lawnmowers. We can also have a positive, powerful impact on the U.S. economy at the places we shop more often and as a result probably end up spending more of our hard-earned cash. Unless you live Alaska, Hawaii or Vermont, chances are there is a Target store near you. Contradictory to the mass e-mail you might have seen about Target stores being owned by the French, I can confidently say through my research that Target is an American-owned, U.S. publicly traded company based in Minneapolis, Minn.

All Preserve products are made in the USA, with the exception of the replaceable steel blades contained in their razors which come from Mexico. You could buy BIC razors made in USA, but in doing so you would be supporting a French company since Société BIC has its corporate headquarters in Clichy, France.

But you don’t have to go to American-owned Target or any other brick-and-mortar retailer to find and buy Preserve products. By visiting Recycline.com you can find American-made personal care, tableware and kitchen products. Check out their personal care line of razors, toothbrushes, tongue cleaners and flavored toothpicks. Their tableware line includes dishwasher safe plates, tumblers and cutlery. Preserve’s kitchen line features colanders, cutting boards and food storage items.

All Preserve plastic products are made from 100 percent recycled plastic including Stonyfield Farm yogurt cups which have kept tons of plastic out of America’s landfills. And you can return Preserve toothbrushes, razor handles and tongue cleaners to the company so they can have a second life as plastic lumber for park benches, decks and more.

Products like these are the kind that most consumers are really indifferent as to which ones to buy. Usually just about any toothbrush will do, any razor will do, and who cares what brand of plastic cutlery you buy as long as it does the job? And when you buy made-in-America products in any category, you are helping the environment by avoiding unnecessary world trade.

Excessive world trade is not only responsible for the loss of good-paying American jobs and the increase of sweatshops in China and other foreign countries. According to an April 2, 2007, Business Week article, global warming can be added to the list of negatives that come from excessive world trade. Over 90,000 commercial vessels crossing the oceans are responsible for more carbon dioxide than 29 industrialized nations combined. These vessels emit more sulfur dioxide than all the earth’s cars, trucks, and buses, and are responsible for one-sixth of the atmosphere’s nitrogen oxide.

The outsize emissions at sea reflect the limitations of world politics. While national governments have forced giant reductions in discharges from vehicles and smokestacks, the U.N.’s International Maritime Organization has maintained looser limits on ships, in part because 139 countries are involved in crafting controls. Some ships, for example, contain an average 27,000 parts per million of sulfur, where American standards don’t allow diesel fuel to have over 15 parts per million.

For patriotic-minded consumers who want to buy American products that save energy and preserve precious natural resources at the same time, patronizing Preserve products is a good place to start.

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