1.      Care for our World

By Karen Robbins

Your child will encounter dozens of playful creatures in their natural habitats and will learn about the importance of caring for all the plants, animals, and people that call planet Earth their home.


2.      The True Adventures of Esther the Wonder Pig

By Steve Jenkins, Caprice Crane, Derek Walter

The true story of social media sensation Esther the Wonder Pig and her two dads that inspired the New York Times bestselling memoir for adults is now available in a Children's book with adorable pictures, illustrations and a message of love.


3.      That’s why we don’t eat animals

By Ruby Roth

This book uses colorful artwork and lively text to introduce vegetarianism and veganism to early readers (ages six to ten)


4.      We Are What We Eat: Holistic Kids

By Kristy Hammill

Do your kids eat too much sugar? Do you find yourself saying, "eat your vegetables" all too often? Give yourself a break and let these hilarious, rhyming, food characters take over for you!



5.      Eating the Alphabet

By Lois Ehlert

While teaching upper- and lowercase letters to preschoolers, Ehlert introduces fruits and vegetables from around the world. A glossary at the end provides interesting facts about each food.


6.      Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn: For Kids

By John C. Maxwell

Wendy and Wade love to play their favorite sport--Woggleball--and, like most kids, they like to win. But after a disappointing loss leaves Wendy and Wade ready to quit, they turn to their grandpa for advice.


7.      The Lorax

By Dr. Seuss

This classic story chronicles the plight of the environment and the Lorax, who speaks for the trees.


8.      I Will Never Not Eat A Tomato

By Lauren Childs

There are many things Lola won’t eat, including - and especially - tomatoes. Or will she? Two endearing siblings star in a witty story about the triumph of imagination over proclivity.


9.      A Bad Case of Stripes

By David Shannon

Camilla Cream is very, very worried about what other people think of her. In fact, she's so worried that she's about to break out in...a bad case of stripes!



10.   The Big Umbrella

By Amy June Bates

This sweet extended metaphor uses an umbrella to demonstrate how kindness and inclusion work


11.   Lovely

By Jess Hong

Big, small, curly, straight, loud, quiet, smooth, wrinkly. Lovely explores a world of differences that all add up to the same thing: we are all lovely!


12.   One

By Kathryn Otoshi

Blue is a quiet color. Red's a hothead who likes to pick on Blue. Yellow, Orange, Green, and Purple don't like what they see, but what can they do? When no one speaks up, things get out of hand — until One comes along and shows all the colors how to stand up, stand together, and count.


13.   The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade

By Justin Roberts

Sally notices everything—from the twenty-seven keys on the janitor's ring to the bullying happening on the playground. One day, Sally has had enough and decides to make herself heard.


14.   Peace is an Offering

By Annette Lebox

A warm, comforting poem about finding peace in a community of neighbors



15.   One Plastic Bag

By Isatou Ceesay

Plastic bags are cheap and easy to use. But what happens when a bag breaks or is no longer needed? In Njau, Gambia, people simply dropped the bags and went on their way. One plastic bag became two. Then ten. Then a hundred. ... Something had to change


16.   Tree Lady

By H. Joseph Hopkins

Unearth the true story of green-thumbed pioneer and activist Kate Sessions, who helped San Diego grow from a dry desert town into a lush, leafy city known for its gorgeous parks and gardens.


17.   Miss Fox’s Class Goes Green

By Eileen Spinelli

When Miss Fox shows up at school riding her bicycle, Mouse asks, "Do you have a flat tire?" "No," Miss Fox tells her students. "I am going green!" Soon everyone in the class is working to keep the earth healthy.


 *These books can all be found at your local library.

3 things you should know about cat litter

A Better Cat Litter


  1. Cat litter is not environmentally friendly

               The bentonite clay that is the main ingredient for most litter is often not ethically sourced. It is often derived from environmentally destructive “strip mining”. Also, did you know that most commercial cat litter is not biodegradable? Since it is meant to hold moisture, the clay will not break down and instead just sits in landfills. Even “flushable” cat litter is not ideal because it can clog toilets over time and potentially spread Toxoplasma Gondii parasites that most cats carry.

2. It can be harmful to you and your cats health

The dust, fragrances, and aluminum silicate (a carcinogen) found in commercial clay cat litter can cause asthma and other breathing problems. Pieces of the clay granules can become stuck between your cats toes and when your cat licks their paws to bathe themselves the clay particles become ingested. This can cause internal blockages (and expensive vet bills) and is especially common kittens.

3. There is a better option

Biodegradable cat litter can be made from a variety of substances, such as wheat, corn, coconut fiber, walnut shells, dried wood, grass, sawdust, or even recycled newspapers. Luckily there are a variety of different eco-friendly brands on the market.

-Yesterday’s News- A paper based cat litter made from recycled paper

-Hartz Recycled Clumping Paper Cat Litter- Color changing litter made from 80% recycled paper

-ökocat Dust-free Paper Natural Litter- Made from natural wood fiber and is 99% dust free

-World’s Best Cat Litter

-Nature’s Miracle

-Next Gen Pet Cat Litter- Made with green tea and cypress wood

-Eco-Shell Naturally Fresh Cat Litter

*Here at CCHEI we prefer to use plain chicken scratch mixed with a “green” litter. It is very cheap and the texture is similar to clay litter which cats prefer. Our local feed store sells 50lb bags of chicken scratch for about $16.

TIP: Always transition your cat to a new litter slowly, adding a few handfuls to the litter box each day until you have fully transitioned.

Zero-Waste Tips

Zero Waste tips and ideas


More and more people are realizing that their consumer habits directly impact their carbon footprint. The products we buy often eventually end up in landfills, only leading to more environmental damage. Luckily there are so many options out there to live a greener, more sustainable lifestyle. Here are a few tips and resources to help you live a zero-waste lifestyle.

Shop at refill centers

Refill centers are popping up all over the place! These are stores where you can bring your own container and fill up on your favorite dish soap, shampoo, or other product. Examples of these stores are Green11 in San Francisco, or Refill Madness in Sacramento. The idea here is reducing plastic waste in landfills by reusing the same container. It is also a good deal because you can buy products in bulk therefore saving time repurchasing it all the time.

Buy directly from the farmer

Lots of areas, especially in California, have co-ops or direct-to-market stands where farmers cut out the middle man and sell directly to you. This saves the farmer money because they don’t need to transport the product and it saves you money because there is no overhead fees from the grocers. The fruits and veggies are always fresher, wax-free, and you can bring your own box or bag to fill instead of buying something wrapped in plastic. It’s a win-win!


Composting can save a lot of waste from going directly into the trash. Besides fruits and vegetables, you can also compost newspaper and dye-free paper, wood ash, pieces of natural fiber and cloth, dryer lint, yard waste, grass clippings, coffee grounds and tea, and any plant-based food without oil or salt (including liquids and leftovers). If you don’t want to compost yourself there are most likely several places in your community where you can donate you compost materials.

Donate reusable items

Local schools and artists often will post ads on Craigslist, at Community centers, or on Facebook groups asking for donations of reusable products. This can be anything from plastic containers to store beads or paint, old t-shirts for painting smocks, or magazines that can be used for collage projects. It is always best to pay it forward and donate to those in need.

Get crafty!

There are a multitude of resources online and on Pinterest for how to make amazing crafts out of items you probably have lying around your house. Just search for DIY reuse craft projects and they usually will have step by step instructions with photos. This is especially great if you have children at home that are constantly telling you “I’m bored”. If you are not the crafty type you can always just repurpose your items. For example, a plastic bin can become a storage container for bulk rice, dog treats, or tea bags.


*Fun fact: The CCHEI headquarters is virtually 100% zero-waste! We reuse or rinse-then-recycle all plastic and glass food containers. Cardboard and paper is either used to start yard waste burn piles or added to compost. No animal products are used on-site, so all food waste is compostable or fed to our rescue goats and chickens. All other unwanted items are donated to other nonprofits or community centers.

Other great resources on how to live zero-waste can be found here: