October 26, 2022

Better Advent Calendars for 2022! (worldwide options)

I grew up with little paper advent calendars and we LOVED them. There was no chocolate and the simple excitement of the count down and new picture to reveal was the best!

But a few decades later the elaborate advent calendar market is huge. Half of us in the UK got one in 2019.  And between chocolate for kids (actually 80% of the calendars sold here) and elaborate ones for adults with everything from beauty products to whisky there’s a LOT of disposable plastic and questionable ethics in sourcing we need to weave through. It’s estimated additional waste from the holidays add three million tonnes of extra plastic waste to landfill each year just in the UK. Not ok. Then with most calendars also not focusing on sourcing, there’s a big need for choosing differently. 

The UK is definitely leading the way in options for better advent calendars with many plastic free, fairtrade, organic or better in some way options. But there are a good few that also ship to the US and Europe.

So here are some of my top picks for well sourced, plastic free, fairly traded or notably better advent calendars this year:


Divine Chocolate Organic Fairtrade – best for USA

Shipping: US + UK

One of the original fairtrade chocolate brands, Divine is a B corp grower owned cooperative. The US has far fewer options for fairtrade and plastic free calendars so this is everything apart from plastic free, but it would be my US recommendation for sure!

Fairtrade and organic, a recyclable tray, and a B Corp business.

Find it HERE in the US || Here in the UK


Tony’s Unequal Advent Calendar-top choice for making a point

Shipping: UK

This was the calendar we had last year! Fully plastic free and fairly traded chocolate, with multiple different flavours of their Tiny Tony’s inside.

Things to note: It is HUGE at about 2 feet tall. It could be hard to find a home for it for 25 days! Also, it’s doing what Tony’s do and highlighting the unequal world of chocolate and advocating for change. There was no chocolate in day 8 last year to highlight the injustice. (There were two in day 9.) I personally loved that and we shared the story with our kids. But if you’re looking for a happy sweet calendar – it does include some poignant, real links and educational moments. These aren’t obvious if you want to just have fairtrade chocolate moment, but we did highlight them to our kids and loved it in a very consuming heavy season.

From Tony’s (for 15% off your first order use code: 9BRJUFQS) || from UK amazon £13 || from Oxfam £14.99


 

Evolve Beauty 12 days of Christmas – my top pick for me! 

Shipping: Worldwide

The one I want for me! Evolve are my favourite favourite UK skincare brand doing all the things I love to see in a brand, but they ship everywhere. I won’t ruin it and tell you what’s in it but ALL my top things are there! You can see a run down of their whole holiday line HERE.

Grab it for a very worth it price on Content Beauty with worldwide shipping (sold out on Evolve)


 

Pukka advent calendar 

Shipping: UK, US + beyond

The only tea we really drink!

The price point on this is a great for a small one that would be a fun gift to self or for thoughtful little friend gift, I like it. Few teas are truly plastic free and Pukka is one of the only brands that actually is. Plus fairly traded ingredients, and organic. B corporation and a 1% for the planet brand. They do a 12 and a 24 sachet version.

From Abel and Cole || £10 From UK Amazon || From Planet Organic || US Link HERE


The Adventure Challenge Scratch off Adventures

Shipping: US only

We’ve given these and they’re so fun! There’s a date ideas for couples or families under each scratch off day! Once you scratch it off you’re committed. A great fun relational addition to the holidays! Read more about it below, but a great, highly rated, fun option to buck chocolate and “things.”

Find it HERE and at Anthropologie


Neal’s Yard 12 Days of Christmas

Shipping: Widely available but not USA

Neal’s Yard has been around forever and are a phenomenal in how they do business. They were first health and beauty brand to receive 100/100 for ethics by The Ethical Company Organisation, the first UK high street retailer to be certified CarbonNeutral, 100% renewable energy, certified organic products, they’re moving towards 100% circular packaging, and they’re helping the bees. I think this would be a beautiful gift for yourself, a mother, or a boss/employee to gift ahead of the holidays.

Find it HERE on Neal’s Yard for £89


8 Days of stevia sweetened Beautycounter Lip Jellies

Shipping: US + Canada

I didn’t want to love these when they launched a few years back but I’ve always got one on me. 8 safely formulated, hydrating and non sticky lip jellies. Well sourced, triple tested for contaminants like heavy metals, and you can return the packaging for recycling. They’re the perfect little bit of gloss, but hydrating for dry lips, and a tad bit of colour in some of them. But really I love B corp company that’s working for widespread industry change. See a full run down of Beautycounter’s holiday collection HERE. 

Add 8 days of stevia sweetened lip jellies to cart HERE! (use CLEANFORALL20 for 20% off if it’s your first order)


Refillable Wall Hanging Calendar

Shipping: US, UK + beyond

I love this kind of calendar for being able to fill with a paper note, chocolate, envelope, clue to another gift or anything else.

Boden is a British family run brand that’s sold clothing forever but is a great ethical option for clothing and they made this great calendar!

Find it here on Boden  || US Boden link HERE


 

Nativity Scene Refillable Calendars – top choice for bucking annual consumerism

Shipping: UK (and worldwide with payable duties)

Jojo Maman Bebe is a B Corp kids clothing brand and they have a few beautiful fold out refillable calendars – a house, a nativity, a toy workshop. I think I might buy one of the Jojo ones for us, I love them. We can add some chocolate if we want of enjoy the little scene and the price point is brilliant at £35.

Find it on Jojo Maman Bebe HERE.


Olive and June Days of Mani Magic

Shipping: US + Canada

Olive and June are a more safely formulated nail polish brand that I kind of fell in love with this year for their press on nails(review here)! They have 2 calendars with nail essentials to round out a collection of at home mani pedi essentials! 

Shop 8 and 25 days HERE


Greener Beauty

This is one of a few “clean beauty” calendars and the selection is great with some brands I love in the mix – and all vegan and plastic free, but I think the price is a little high.

If I was going to spend £177 on green beauty I think I’d spend more intentionally – but if it’s in your budget, it’s definitely a great selection.

Shipping: UK + Europe

Shop it HERE at Greener Beauty for £177 (£350 value)


 

Men’s Boden 12 days of socks – best for dad!

Shipping: US, UK + worldwide

A Boden Sock Calendar with ethically made socks… I actually might get this for Jared. We always need more socks and these are actually a great price for well made ones!  (It doesn’t have to be men’s, but they’re all one size and a larger size.)

12 days of socks for £6.25 a pair in a gorgeous box HERE || US link HERE $8 a pair


HIP advent calendar – Jared’s choccie pick!

Shipping: UK only

This is Jared’s favourite chocolate and there’s always a bar at his work desk! Plant based, plastic free, oat milk not dairy for those who need it and really well priced.

There are 4 different flavours of their delicious chocolate in the calendar, and a great simple calendar.

Buy from HIP £10 || Buy from Amazon UK


Play in Choc calendar for kids – best  kid option on a bigger budget

Think Kinder Surprise but not even comparable and so much better! I LOVE this one for everything it is: Allergy friendly being vegan, gluten, nut and dairy free, plastic free and fairly traded. Everything they do is well through through and I love it!

Shipping: UK only

Buy from Play in Choc £29/£49 for 12 or 24 days || Buy from Play in Choc Amazon Shop £24/£41


Love cocoa Luxury Truffle Advent Calendar – fun for kids + great values!

Shipping: UK only

Love Cocoa was started by the  Cadbury family (who aren’t still involved in the brand) to go back to the values of the Cadbury found.  They’re deeply about standing for justice, caring for the planet and doing things differently which I LOVE. If you like reading about those things you can read more on their site!

Find it HERE on Love Cocoa with £10 off your first order £12 and £25


COCO advent calendar – best for style

Shipping: Worldwide free over £50

This wins for most stylish and stunning for sure! Add a piece of art to your room during advent – I love that it has 12 FULL bars on each side of the calendar.

All thoughtfully made in the countries of origin to keep more of the wealth there, before being finished in Scotland.

COCO Chocolatier || On UK Anthropologie


Upcircle Advent Calendar – top pick for a surprise!

Shipping: Free/cheap Worldwide

Upcircle is a skincare brand I love. It’s a great lower priced entry to clean skin care or for people who want clean and simple. They don’t have the actives some of the other brands have (that I want as I age a bit!) but I LOVE their up-cyled ingredients and commitment to lowering their footprint with things like refills.  The items inside are all a surprise and limited edition new releases which is so fun and from this brand I know they’ll all be brilliant!!

Find it on Upcircle


 

Moo Free – Best for Allergy friendly on a Budget!

Shipping: UK + US

This is a great “free from” and vegan advent calendar from a great inclusive family run brand. Free from wheat, gluten, palm oil and soy as well as vegan, with fairtrade chocolate. Their packaging is all recycled and their factories and HQ send zero waste to landfill as well as being powered by renewable energy – love that! And a BRILLIANT price especially if you need multiple for children.

On Amazon for £6.99 || On MooFree for £4.50 || US link for $12.99


25 Days of Conscious Beauty – best prices for clean beauty options

Shipping: UK only

Well priced at £55 with vegan options from brands like Weleda, Evolve and Ethique. Of all the “clean beauty” calendars it’s a well priced FYI: It opens out – all the products are shown on the sale page below in case you want a surprise.

Find it HERE at Holland + Barrett


Happi

Shipping: UK only

Just another great fun, vegan option!

Fully plastic free (recyclable cardboard and a compostable inner wrap), made with sunflower lecithin instead of soy. It’s the same chocolate in each window.

Find it on Happi.com for £15


Home Compostable Coffee Pod Calendar – most surprising choice!

Shipping: UK only

I’m not a fan of coffee pods and all the waste but these home compostable ones are a fun option to shake it up for a coffee pod lover! And I love how they’re doing it – Ethically-sourced and organic coffees, a world first “Bird Friendly” coffee, plastic free calendar AND packed by hand at Devon Disability Collective, a Social Enterprise that provides quality employment & training for people with disabilities & those furthest from the labour market.

Find it for £30 on Amazon (80p for each organic, compostable pod!)


Charity Giving Calendar

Shipping: UK only

I grew up with no chocolate advent calendars and I think they’re GREAT! This one is beautiful and one for kids too. The cost of a gift to 24 charities is in the price and you can read about who you’re giving to each day!

Find it HERE £18


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