9 Best Eco-Friendly Advent Calendars | pebble magazine
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9 Of The Best Eco-Friendly Advent Calendars To Get Excited About

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9 Of The Best Eco-Friendly Advent Calendars To Get Excited About

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Advent calendars are an annual ritual but there are plenty of eco-friendly options, for kids and big kids alike.

Francesca Brooking

Fri 1 Oct 2021

Advent calendars make the run-up to Christmas that little bit more exciting for both kids and adults. Who wouldn’t want an excuse for a daily treat, after all?

The best part is you don’t have to sacrifice your ethics for an indulgence.

From organic teas to vegan beauty and good ol’ chocolate, of course, pebble has rounded up 9 of the best eco-friendly advent calendars packed full of treats that give back in more ways than one.

Bring on December!

Quick links to pebble’s fave eco-friendly advent calendars

What’s the problem with advent calendars?

It’s no secret that Christmas is the most wasteful time of the year.

UK households collectively throw out an extra three million tonnes of rubbish over the festive season - and advent calendars only add to it.

In 2019, it’s estimated that as many as 16.5 million advent calendars containing single-use plastic were bought in the UK.

This makes them impossible to recycle so they end up getting incinerated or sent to landfill.

Advent calendars are no longer just pictures behind windows or little chocolate treats (although there are still some lovely ones out there).

They’ve become extravagant gifts filled with beauty products, jewellery, booze, tea… the list goes on.

With them comes vast amounts of complicated single use packaging from the containers to the products inside. That’s more waste destined for landfill.

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Wooden box painted with numbers

Eco-friendly advent calendars are kinder to the planet

Why buy an eco-friendly advent calendar?

Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a Scrooge to be sustainable in the run-up to Christmas.

There are an increasing number of sustainable advent calendars out there and it’s now even easier to treat yourself in a way that aligns with your values.

Plus, these eco advent calendars are more than just their recyclable packaging.

The products inside are ethically made by brands that give back to people and the planet too whether it’s charity work, fair wages or a transparent supply chain.

Christmas is a time of giving so why not show your support with an advent calendar that does just that?

Here are our top 9 eco-friendly advent calendar ideas for 2021.

9 Of The Best Eco-Friendly Advent Calendars

Lush advent calendar products in a colourful box

1. Best advent calendar for kids: PLAYin Choc

Perfect for children, PLAYin Choc’s advent calendar offers toys and chocolate so it really is the best of both worlds.

The calendar contains 24 draws each filled with a fun fact card, chocolate and 3D puzzle toy to get your child’s creativity flowing over the festive season.

As a nice little touch, each drawer can be replaced back to front to form a new picture that’s completed on Christmas Eve. The outer sleeve can also be opened up into a landscape to set the scene for all 24 toys.

The pebble team loves that there’s no compromise on quality when it comes to the chocolate.

Made from 100% Organic and Fairtrade cacao, coconut and vanilla, it has an award-winning taste without refined sugar or common allergens.

pebble’s verdict

Pros: Dairy, nut, soy, gluten and plastic free | Chocolate, 3D puzzles and fun facts inside | 100% organic chocolate | Carbon negative

Cons: Expensive

Prices are £27.50 for the 12 Day Advent Calendar and £55.00 for the 24 Day Advent Calendar. View on PLAYin Choc.

Colourful PLAYin Choc eco-friendly adventcalendar

PLAYin Choc's advent calendar is filled with chocolate and 3D toys

2. Best tea advent calendar: teapigs

Snuggle up with the nation’s favourite drink this advent. teapigs advent calendar offers respite against the cold, dark mornings with its 24 days of tea.

Count down to Christmas with a selection of classic teapig favourites and limited edition wintry blends such as Spiced Pear, Glühwein, Sweet Spearmint, and Gingerbread.

All blends are made from natural ingredients and contain no artificial ingredients, sweeteners or sugar.

The pebble team particularly likes that true to the teapigs brand, the advent calendar is completely plastic free right down to the tea bags themselves.

The packaging can be recycled and the used tea bags can go in the council food waste bin.

As for its eco-credentials, teapigs is a B Corp and a member of The Ethical Partnership, a nonprofit organisation working to improve the sustainability and livelihoods of tea workers and smallholder farmers.

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pebble’s verdict

Pros: Plastic free advent calendar | Ethically sourced and award-winning tea | B Corp certified | Limited edition winter blends

Cons: Tea bags are not home compostable

24 Days of teapigs is priced at £29.99 and available 4 October.

Green and brown tea advent calendar against a white background

Count down to Christmas with a daily brew from teapigs

3. Best body care advent calendar: Lush

Lush’s advent calendars are always highly sought after and quick to sell out. This year is no exception.

Its floral box is packed with 25 vegan products from across the brand’s range, including bestsellers, retro products and gift exclusive products.

The theme of this year’s Lush advent calendar is magical midnight wonderland. Featured gifts to open include bath bombs, bubble bars, lip scrub, body lotion, shampoo bar, body butter and perfume.

True to the Lush brand, all products are vegan and cruelty free.

The pebble team loves that the box is constructed by hand and made from 100% recycled board and paper. You can either recycle it, regift it or keep it as a pretty box for trinkets such as jewellery.

The ribbon is made from 100% recycled polyester from recycled plastic bottles too.

If you miss out on this year’s advent calendar, Lush also has a festive alternative that counts down the last 12 days before Christmas.

Also check out pebble's Ultimate Vegan Beauty Guide

pebble’s verdict

Pros: Vegan, ethical and cruelty free | Reusable box and solid bars to minimise packaging | Products are handmade and labelled by batch for transparency

Cons: Expensive | Not plastic free (although virgin plastic free) | Sells out fast so not a last-minute buy

The Lush Advent Calendar is priced at £185 and tends to sell out fast.

Lush advent calendar products in a colourful box

Lush's advent calendar has everything you need for bath time

4. Best wellness advent calendar: Pukka Herbs

Eco-friendly tea brand and B Corp Pukka Herbs is well-known for its festive tea-themed advent calendar.

If you’re looking to find balance in a season that can easily slip into overindulgence, Pukka’s advent calendar could be just what you’re looking for.

Inside, you’ll find a selection of 24 blends including old favourites and some more adventurous creations.

There’s a good choice of herbal and classic infusions, with teas such as Night Time, English Breakfast, Ginseng Matcha Green and Feel New on top of Peppermint and Licorice, Blackcurrant Beauty and Lemongrass and Ginger.

Another reason why pebble loves Pukka Herbs is it’s committed to donating 1% of everything it sells to environmental and social projects.

It’s also Fair for Life certified and organic so you know every brew is good for you and the planet.

pebble’s verdict

Pros: Decent price | Recyclable plastic free packaging | Organic and Fairtrade | Mix of classic and creative blends

Cons: No festive blends | Pukka Herbs is owned by Unilever

The Pukka Days of Christmas Calendar is £9.99.

Cut out of Pukka Herbs green advent calendar

This advent calendar from Pukka Herbs gives you some restorative balance during the festive season

5. Best chocolate advent calendar: Love Cocoa

You can’t beat a good traditional chocolate advent calendar and Love Cocoa’s 2021 edition doesn’t disappoint.

It contains 25 deliciously decadent truffle varieties, all handmade from sustainably sourced, palm oil free and slave free single origin Colombian cocoa.

If that wasn’t enough, you’re supporting two great causes with every bite.

All profits from the sale of the calendars will be donated to NHS Charities Together, a charity working to improve services for patients and give support to NHS staff and volunteers.

Plus, the sale of every calendar will also plant three trees in Kenya as part of Love Cocoa’s ‘Plant a Tree’ project that aims to plant half a million trees this year.

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pebble’s verdict

Pros: Plastic free and 100 recyclable | supports two good causes | Luxury chocolates | Carbon negative

Cons: Not vegan | pebble would like to see more transparency for ingredient sourcing

Love Cocoa’s Luxury Chocolate Truffle Advent Calendar is priced at £25.00.

Cut out of Love Cocoa's advent calendar

Love Cocoa's luxury truffle advent calendar gives back in more ways than one

6. Best budget-friendly advent calendar: Moo Free

You don’t have to go all out to enjoy the run-up to Christmas. You can have a little joy without breaking the bank and you can do it sustainably too with Moo Free.

Ideal for those who prefer to stick to either “milk”, white or dark chocolate throughout, all of Moo Free’s calendars are vegan and gluten free.

Pebble particularly likes that great tasting and ethical chocolate doesn’t have to come at a high price.

Moo Free uses ethically sourced ingredients, including the finest quality single origin organic cocoa from plantations in the Dominican Republic.

These advent calendars are also slightly healthier than some of the other competitors on the market, containing 39% sugar in comparison to 55-60% or more refined sugar.

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pebble’s verdict

Pros: Dairy free, gluten free, soya free and vegan | Plastic free | Budget-friendly in comparison to other sustainable competitors

Cons: One type of chocolate per calendar

Moo Free Advent Calendars start from £3.99.

Cut out of Moo Free's eco advent calendar

Moo Free's affordable advent calendar is vegan and ethical too

7. Best skincare advent calendar: Dr Hauschka

This year’s Christmas advent calendar from Dr Hauschka is packed with a mini range of all the brand’s best skincare products up to 24 days.

Inside, you can find luxurious treats such as Lavender Sandalwood Calming Body Cream, Hydrating Hand Cream and Clarifying Clay Mask. Each one contains natural and certified organic ingredients.

They’re cruelty free and gentle on skin too.

Dr Hauschka is doing things a little differently this Christmas. The advent calendar gifts are individually wrapped in numbered cotton bags and placed in a large gift box.

This means you can save the entire set and use it as a refillable advent calendar for someone special next year.

It’s one step closer to going zero waste!

pebble’s verdict

Pros: Refillable advent calendar | Luxury skincare products | Sustainably sourced, cruelty free and natural | Value for money

Cons: Not plastic free and contains single use minis | Not vegan | No windows to look for and open which might put off some people

Dr Hauschka’s Christmas advent calendar is priced at £85.

Box with little bags all around it

Dr Hauschka's advent calendar can be saved and reused the next year

8. Best vegan advent calendar: HAPPi

Some more good news for vegans or those who want to cut down on dairy. Oat milk chocolate brand, HAPPi Free From has launched its new advent calendar for the first time.

Inside, you’ll find 24 delicious oat milk chocolate pieces made from single origin Colombian cocoa.

True to HAPPi form, all chocolate in the advent calendar is 100% slave and child labour free. HAPP buys directly from farmers and buyers with a direct ‘farm-to’bar’ supply chain so it can see who grows its chocolate and how much they get paid.

What’s more, the chocolate’s higher cacao content means it contains 35% less sugar than other leading brands.

All packaging is made from sustainable sources and is fully recyclable. No plastic here in the run-up to Christmas.

In the mood? Try our Vegan Chocolate Truffle Cupcakes Recipe

pebble’s verdict

Pros: Vegan, dairy, soya and gluten free | | plastic free and recyclable packaging | Fairtrade single origin chocolate | Transparent supply chain

Cons: On the pricey end of affordable in comparison to other competitors | All one type of chocolate | Not certified organic

The HAPPi Advent Calendar is priced at £7.50.

Product image of HAPPI advent calendar

HAPPi hits the spot with its brand new vegan oat milk advent calendar

9. Best beauty advent calendar: Greener Beauty

Greener Beauty’s limited edition beauty advent calendar is a particular one that the pebble team are excited about.

It features 26 different gifts behind 24 doors to open and each one is plastic free and packaged in the most eco-friendly way possible to reduce the carbon footprint.

All products are vegan and cruelty free, featuring new limited edition gifts and tried and tested favourites from a range of sustainable brands.

Greener Beauty has these gifts a secret so each day really is a surprise, but you can expect skincare and body care products, shower and bath products, hair care, nail polish, essential oil and perfume.

What’s more, the box is made in the UK from 75% recycled cardboard and 25% sustainable sources so it’s 100% recyclable after use!

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pebble’s verdict

Pros: Zero waste beauty calendar | Plastic free and sustainable beauty products | Unisex (you can ask to swap the nail polish) | 100% recyclable

Cons: Expensive for an advent calendar but a decent price in comparison to other beauty advent calendars

Greener Beauty’s advent calendar is priced at £149.99. View it exclusively on Greener Beauty here.

Box with white patterns on it for advent calendars

Greener Beauty's advent calendar is 100% recyclable

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