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 eight 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 invest in a reusable advent calendar. It felt like a nice easy starting point for greening our Christmas festivities. Small steps can lead to big changes, after all.
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 to pick out what items are going to go in the reusable advent 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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- Reusable calendars under £10
- Reusable calendars under £25
- Reusable calendars under £50
- Reusable calendars under £70
- What to fill reusable advent calendars with
Contrary to what you might think, reusable calendars can be done on a budget. Here are my top picks for calendars under £10:
Coming in at a budget-friendly £8.55 is this cute hessian reusable advent calendar, available on Etsy.
With this set comprising 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 this calendar up on your wall or mantlepiece, and slip a little sweet treat into each mini stocking.
If you’ve got a little more to spend, there are many more options to count down:
DIY Advent Calendar Kit
This pretty DIY advent calendar kit (£17.82 from Etsy) features 24 cute canvas bags ready to be filled with tiny treats to enjoy during the countdown to Christmas.
A DIY kit, you’re supplied with everything you need to easily assemble this stylish calendar. This includes all the canvas bags, poles, foliage, wooden beads and rope. All you need to supply is the treats!
Scandi Style Hanging Advent Calendar
This beautiful Scandi-style advent calendar (£16.95 from Etsy) is a great way to count down to Christmas.
Each pocket features a stylish festive design, and it’s sure to be loved by all the family year after year.
This reusable calendar measures 53.5 cm high and 35.5 cm high, so should fit most homes. Meanwhile, the roomy 7 cm wide pockets can hold a variety of festive treats.
House Advent Calendar
This stylish advent calendar from Amazon (check today’s price here) is perfect for the run-up to Christmas.
Made from sturdy canvas, it features 24 spacious pockets that can be filled with sweet treats year after year. Once Christmas is over, simply roll it up and store it safely, ready to be rolled out for next Christmas.
Here are my top picks for calendars under £50 – from fun reusable bunting calendars to super stylish houses and boxes:
Bunting Style Calendar
This pretty bunting-style reusable advent calendar (£36 from Etsy) features 24 numbered flags with pockets to add a small treat each day in the lead-up to Christmas.
Made from natural-coloured calico with patterned pockets, these are available in different festive designs.
It comes in at approximately 2 metres in length, but if wall space is an issue for you then you can buy two shorter lengths of 12 flags each.
Wooden House Reusable Advent Calendar
This adorable wooden house advent calendar (£39.95 from Not On The High St) 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 advent calendar can even be personalised, for no extra charge, to make it super special!
Christmas Village Calendar
For a reusable advent calendar with a difference, try this wooden Christmas Village advent calendar (£42.95 from Not On The High St).
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.
After Christmas, the pieces can then be popped back into the suitcase and reused again the following year.
Our top picks under £70 include a beautiful hand-quilted calendar and a stunning box-style calendar that will delight everyone for years to come:
Quilted Advent Calendar
This Scandi-style reusable advent calendar (£50 from Etsy), made from 100% cotton, 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.
Wooden Box Calendar
Finally, this reusable advent calendar box (£65 from Not On The High St) 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 nighttime 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!
Looking For More Ways To Have A Green Christmas?
And 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!