Give single-use the shove this Christmas, starting with this guide to the best eco-friendly and reusable advent calendars. These refillable calendars will delight kids (and even grown-ups) for years to come.
About six years ago I decided to give single-use advent calendars the cold shoulder. After reading some scary facts about the excess waste generated at Christmas, I decided I wanted to lessen my family’s impact over the festive season.
One of the first things I did was to invest in a reusable advent calendar. As well as being friendlier for the planet than single-use advent calendars, can I just tell you how much joy it brings? Reader, it brings my kids so much joy. The whole process of looking in the pocket each morning in December to see what’s there is so exciting for them. More so than with a standard shop-bought chocolate advent calendar.
And do you know what else? It brings me so much joy. Yes, me! I find it so exciting picking out what items are going to go in the calendar. From little chocolates to notes of fun family activities to do, to the occasional treat – I find the whole process of putting it together one of the Christmas activities that I look forward to the most.
Guide to The Best Eco-Friendly and Reusable Advent Calendars
If you are looking to make an eco-friendly switch, then let me share my favourite reusable advent calendars at a variety of different price points. And at the bottom of this post, I’ll also share some ideas of what to pop in the pockets of your reusable advent calendar, in case you are looking for any inspiration.
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Coming in at a budget-friendly £8.33 is this cute hessian reusable advent calendar*, available on Etsy. With this set comprising of 24 stockings, pegs, and 3 metres of string, you’re all set to begin the countdown to Christmas in a budget-friendly and sustainable style. Simply hang it up on your wall or mantlepiece, and slip a little sweet treat into each mini stocking.
This reusable advent calendar* (£22) features a hanging felt house with 25 pockets in varying shapes. Each pocket is embroidered with a number in gold, ready to be filled with tiny treats to enjoy during the countdown to Christmas.
This personalised reusable advent calendar* (from £49.99) is available in two different sizes, depending on how large you want the pockets to be. This one pictured is the large size. And for an extra sweet touch, this calendar can be personalised with any name, siblings’ names, or just a surname. Your kids will love waking up to this calendar every day!
This pretty bunting style reusable advent calendar* (£32) features 24 numbered flags with pockets to add a little treat each day in the lead-up to Christmas. The calendar is made from natural coloured calico with Christmas patterned pockets, available in different designs. The pockets are the perfect size for chocolate coins or other small treats.
The bunting is approx 2 metres in length, plus there’s enough extra ribbon on each end for hanging. However, if space is an issue, you can buy two shorter lengths of 12 flags each.
This adorable wooden house advent calendar* (£33) is one of these reusable advent calendars that will be cherished for years to come. Simply fill the hollow centre of each house, with a sweet treat, to count down the days to Christmas in style.
As well as the 24 houses, you also receive the stand. In addition, there are four decorative green wooden trees and two wooden reindeer for an extra sweet touch.
The Reusable Advent Calendar With A Difference Under £50
For reusable advent calendars with a difference, try this wooden Christmas Village advent calendar* (from £46). Instead of finding chocolates behind each door, open the suitcase to reveal numbered trays featuring beautifully crafted decorative wooden festive pieces. Day by day you’ll create a charming Christmas North Pole village scene. Here you’ll find Santa and his elves, reindeer, a snowman, a sledge full of gifts, and a beautiful Christmas tree.
After Christmas, the pieces can then be popped back in the suitcase and reused again the following year.
This Scandi style reusable advent calendar* (£55) has been quilted by hand and is decorated with various Christmas-themed illustrations. This is one advent calendar you’ll be excited to pull out year after year.
Do note that this wall hanging has three loops at the top for you to add your own wooden pole for hanging. Pick this up at any DIY store.
If you’d rather make your own reusable advent calendar, then try this pom pom advent calendar craft kit (£54)! First choose your pom pom colours (neon, pastel, or natural). Next, iron on the wool-blend felt numbers before sewing on the yarn pom poms. Then you are all set to fill the 100% cotton drawstring bags with treats!
Finally, this reusable advent calendar box* (£59) is another unique way to count down the days until Christmas. Featuring optional personalisation, The wooden box is individually made, hand-sanded, and personalised in the UK.
The box has 25 sections for you to fill with your own treats or gifts. You can choose to add 25 linen bags to the product for an additional £15, or you can simply wrap your 25 little parcels yourself.
What to Fill Your Reusable Advent Calendars With?
You might be wondering what to fill your reusable advent calendar with?
I do mostly stick to chocolate. It’s cheap and easy, and it’s easy to find plastic-free chocolates. I go for foil-wrapped small chocolates, which are easy to find at Christmas time in any shop.
Some days I like to mix things up, and instead add a note about an activity to do that day. I find this helps to shift the emphasis away from stuff towards experiences at this often consumer frenzied time of year. For example, the day’s note might say things like:
- putting up the Christmas tree
- a night time walk to see the local Christmas lights
- a Christmas crafting session – maybe making a popcorn garland or a dried orange slice garland.
- watching a Christmas movie together
- enjoying a hot chocolate
- reading a Christmas book together
- Christmas baking
I try to put these in the reusable advent calendar pockets on days when I know that I will have time to do the activity, or would correspond with when we plan to do a particular activity. Some evenings I have to admit that I have reorganised the order of notes to fit a change in our plans!
For more ways to green your Christmas, do check out my ultimate guide on how to have an eco-friendly Christmas. I have tons of ideas in there, taken from almost a decade’s worth of writing here on Moral Fibres. From the most eco-friendly Christmas tree to zero-waste decorations you can make, to gift ideas as well as Christmas dinner ideas, it is all there!