Green dream

…holidays are expensive, pets are expensive, houses are expensive, bills are expensive. I don’t think there is a family out there that wouldn’t be keen to save some money on their bills, I know we would. I’ve been reading about the new initiative from British Gas called HIVE which has been designed for families just like us that want to keep their heating bills low.

So the concept is that you get to control your heating anytime, anywhere. British Gas install a wireless receiver, thermostat and hub and you have an online account and an app on your phone or tablet or laptop to control it with. So why would you want to control your heating using an app? Isn’t that a little lazy? Ok sure if you are at home you could get off your bum and turn the heating on and off, but think about all those times that you are not at home and your heating or hot water is heating an empty house. Not exactly energy efficient is it?

Even though we try to be careful in our house, we still manage to waste energy. Like when we are on holiday or away for the weekend and the heating comes on all the same or when we are out for an evening and the house is nice and toasty but for who? Just by stopping this wastage, turning off your heating remotely when you don’t need it, you could save up to £150 on your energy bill a year. Hive Active Heating™ works with your existing heating system so you don’t need to change your setup, you don’t even need to change your supplier, you just get an engineer from British Gas to come and fit the technology and that is it!

As well as saving money there are other perks to being able to control your heating and hot water from afar… you can turn on your hot water by the press of a button so your bath is ready to run when you get home from a long day… you can set a temperature alert so that when the temperature drops below a certain level the heating kicks in… and you can even set a special frost alert to stop your pipes from freezing if you are away from home. Genius!

With that in mind I thought I’d share Littlelish’s and my current wishlist with you, things that we would love to have but just don’t have the extra cash for right now, unless we saved £150 by installing HIVE…Oh wait, we may have just bought one of these things, which will arrive next month… and might help to keep us warm, can anyone guess what it might be??

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People always seem suprised that Littlelish and I have chickens. I don’t know why, maybe they think they are an unusual pet choice for our little family? Perhaps they think I don’t seem the type (I’m not a farmers wife) for keeping chickens? But keeping chickens is definitely increasing in popularity, I guess it is part of the whole grow your own trend and know why, we absolutely love our chickens!

Here are 5 reasons why chickens are the perfect family pets!

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Educational
Keeping chickens has been a wonderful way to teach my daughter about caring for animals but also about where our food comes from. They have also provided us with eggs every single day which has meant we’ve done lots of baking and cooking together!

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Fun
Ok so people may think chickens are not a fun cuddly pet but I beg to differ. Our chickens are incredibly tame, can interact with you and are a whole lot of fun. They are also much more intelligent than you might think, they follow me around when I am gardening and digging up worms!

Low maintenance
You need to clean your chickens out and feed and water them but other than that they are pretty low maintenance. No walking or clearing up after them. They don’t need a whole lot of attention or fuss either :) You don’t need to turn your garden into a farm, just buy a small hen house (ours fits our 2 chickens nicely) with a little run. We also let ours roam free around the garden every day and put them away, safe from the foxes at night.

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Low cost
Chicken feed is relatively inexpensive. They will need layer pellets or layers mash (as mine prefer), corn as a treat and grit if this is not included in the food already. You can ever order your pet food online if you can’t make it out to the shops or don’t want to carry big bags. Check out Feedem Pet Supplies for online shopping for your chickens.

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Environmentally friendly
Keeping chickens means you are not supporting battery farms where chickens are kept in cramp conditions forced to lay day in day out. In my case I get fresh eggs every day and they are absolutely delicious. Another advantage is your chickens will eat most of your leftover food. If they are anything like mine they may be a little bit choosy, mine have a penchant for fish and chip, pasta or couscous!
imagelish
This post was in collaboration with Feedem.

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