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Attainable Sustainable: The Lost Art of Self-Reliant Living

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  189 ratings  ·  38 reviews
Packed with delicious recipes, natural remedies, gardening tips, homemaking ideas, crafts, and more, this indispensable lifestyle reference from the popular blogger behind Attainable Sustainable makes earth-friendly living fun, real, and easy.

Whether you live in a city, suburb, or the country, this essential guide for the backyard homesteader will help you achieve a homesp
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published March 24th 2020 by National Geographic Society
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Meg - A Bookish Affair
Mar 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, 2020
I began reading "Attainable Sustainable" just as we started staying home from work due to the threat of covid-19. We have a lot of time on our hands now and a lot of time to try out some of the tips found in this book. This book is jam packed with ideas of how you can make yourself more self-sustainable. While the idea of self-sustainability itself may be daunting, this book breaks a bunch of initially complicated-seeming things into super approachable steps. Author Kris Bordessa acts as a wonde ...more
Mar 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing

"The changes came slowly but they came." SO SO true. This, what some would call simpler, not to mention healthier, lifestyle does not happen overnight. It is a gradual process.

PLEASE NOTE that this book is NOT for those who are already living the self-sustaining lifestyle and technically know it all. This book is for those who want to get 'on the road' to a better life, step by step.

Colorful photos are scattered throughout the book. Whilst I have dehydrated food for years I have never braved mak
Mar 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Attainable Sustainable is basically a guide for living more like people did before the advent of packaged food and the throw away society we now inhabit. Grow your own food, preserve it, learn to reuse what you have, can you sew? knit? crochet? Many of these skills used to be taught in school but no longer are – back in the dark ages when I went to high school I was required to take Home Ec. Now it’s an elective. Skills like canning and fermenting are fun to learn and can lead to a lifestyle tha ...more
Feb 25, 2021 rated it really liked it
I'm not sure where I found this book, what I was looking for, and then how to rate it now that I finished. It's basically an introduction to a lot of topics related to what you would do to homestead. There are some practical step-by-step instructions with pictures on topics like canning, rendering beeswax, and making campfire cornbread along with general information on a variety of topics that I would want to learn more about if I took on the endeavor. I liked thinking about the variety of ways ...more
Apr 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Similarly to the moral from 'The Town Mouse and Country Mouse' from Aesops Fable, Ms. Bordessa's Lost Art of Self-Reliant living is a testament to living sustainably with what we have, can grow, and make, rather than succumbing to the omnipresent societal fear we literally buy into that more is always better.

From the incredible full page photography to the clean, colorful page layouts, there's something for everyone. This inevitably will speak volumes to first-timers who want to dip their toes i
Laurel Bishop
May 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I received Kris Bordessa's book in my first giveaway and was beyond thrilled when it arrived on my birthday. This is the perfect gift you give yourself if you want a sustainable lifestyle. I read all 319 pages in one night; it's that riveting and enticing. Her earthy writing style is equalled by dozens of gold-standard National Geographic (NG) photographs. NG editors called Kris in Hawaii in 2016 to write this lifestyle journey for them! How awesome is that? Kris genuinely lives the self-reliant ...more
Living My Best Book Life
Mar 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: environment
Attainable Sustainable is a great book for those who enjoy being outside and in the garden. I love planting and growing vegetables and herbs in my garden and I learned so much.

The book is perfect for beginners. If you have never planted your own garden, you will learn so much. The great thing about this book is that it shows you pictures and details the best environment to have successful growth.

It also has so many other great ideas like DIY home supplies. It's so empowering to learn how much y
Susannah Shmurak
Jul 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As a long time fan of Kris Bordessa's website, Attainable Sustainable, I was thrilled when I won her book in a giveaway. This beautiful book is an amazing reference for projects the aspiring DIYer can take on one by one. From the basics of fermenting and bread-making to dyeing your own cloth and making soap, there's something in here for everyone from the newbie to the experienced homesteader. Covering a huge array of topics -- home canning, garden planning, numerous craft projects, sprouting, r ...more
Lisa Wiegand
May 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a GoodReads giveaway that I won.

The book is a very nice book. It is well organized, with nice photos & good drawings.

This book is awesome for people who are complete newbies to "Self-Reliant Living". However, having grown up in very rural northeast Wisconsin poverty - I already knew most of the material that was covered in the book about identifying animals and plants and am very familiar with foraging for mushrooms & edibles.

If you are knew to this lifestyle option - this book would
Apr 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is great! We have had this book less than a week and my whole family has been reading it. There are so many great ideas in this book, our “to do” list has grown substantially. My 11 year old daughter has taken particular interest in this book. The fact that it is a book that she can read has been been both educational and motivating. I love the breakdown of sections between food items, cleaning, growing, farming and trekking. Wonderful content. We won this as part of a Goodreads Giveaw ...more
Whitney Stanfield
Jun 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is amazing and I recommend it to anyone that is looking to start down the path to sustainable living. This book is very well organized with easily absorbable information. I did not find a single recipe that I felt like I could not follow. I borrowed this from my local library but will be purchasing my own copy for my personal collection since it is a great reference book. National Geographic is the best and this book is testament to their Brand quality.
Sep 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'd been waiting a while to get this book from the library, and it was worth the wait. The book is beautiful as well as helpful and informative, and it breaks projects down so that they sound completely doable. I'll be asking for a copy for my birthday for sure; I'll want this around to refer to in the future. ...more
Lisa Houlihan
This is a a bound version of a magazine to flip through. As a book, I suppose it might serve to pique interest in a given subject but I suspect virtue-signaling is its main job. It cracked me UP that it dedicates the same scant pages to keeping bees and keeping chickens to the (enjoyable! but less vital) activities of macrame and mosaics.
Ke’alohi  W.
Apr 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Everything you need to start your path to a more self-sustainable life. Kris covers all of the bases, from gardening to homemade cleaning supplies to fermenting.
Feb 18, 2021 rated it really liked it
What I liked:
The structure, chapters and photos. I’m keen to try some of the recipes, and I really appreciated the section on trekking. I’ve read a lot of sustainability books and they all cater to a “type” (American/Christian/rural.) While this book still catered to Americans living on the mainland (which was a little strange, given the author lives in Hawaii) it had lots of practical knowledge for people living in urban & suburban areas amd there was none of that “cleanliness is next to godlin
Katrina Clohessy
Jun 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-nonfiction
This is a good starting point for learning about various tenets of self-reliant & eco-friendly living. I'd suggest that after reading through this book, the reader further pursue any areas of interest via more in-depth texts on gardening, cooking from scratch, homesteading, traditional crafts, etc. Because of my own background knowledge in some of these areas, this book served more as a source of inspiration for further studies and exploration. ...more
Christine Scott
Jul 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
During this pandemic, it was natural and horrifying to consider how much we rely on stores for groceries and goods. This beautiful book is an overview of all the different ways you can become more self-reliant, including gardening, food preservation, sewing, soap making, raising livestock and foraging. This book didn’t go very deep on any one topic but is good for general knowledge and exploration!
Maria Jansson
Apr 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A must have for anyone striving to live a selfsustainable life. It covers the basic of a great variety of subjects such as; gardening, cooking, canning, fermenting, candlemaking, soapmaking and farming. I really like the attractive design and modern approach to homesteading. The photos throughout the book are of very high quality and the descriptions very easy to follow.
Oct 02, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book had breadth and some depth. It was well-organised. Activities were classified into indoor (Eat, Make, Clean) and outdoor (Grow, Farm, Trek) activities. It's a good introduction on a wide range of topics from making beef jerky to macrame pot holders to rearing goats to foraging weeds. I thought her strongest chapters were her gardening chapters. I was surprised to hear tin foil and plastic baggies being used in the trekking chapter to make food packets, but it does make the lifestyle mo ...more
Juli Anna
May 14, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: diy-homemaking
A bit twee and undeniably inviting, though without sacrificing too much content. The choice of topics is a bit funny at times (macrame?), but that's okay. Worth a look through, but this is more likely to be a coffee table book for folks who daydream about farms, rather than a useful reference for those who actually use these skills. ...more
Winder Library
Self Reliant Living.....sounds like you've got to become a farmer......never fear you will find something in this book to help your family. Just pursue this very informative and easily laid out book and you will get inspired. ...more
Amy Goldstein
Feb 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
A really good approachable how-to book. Offers many easy ways to do better at living a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle. Not too preachy or guilt-ridden. There were a few projects I felt could have been explained a bit more in detail, but overall, a fantastic resource.
Karen W.
Jul 09, 2021 rated it it was ok
A very frustrating book. So much potential, but nothing new for anyone who is even remotely familiar with the topics covered, and not enough detail given for those who are new to them. Pretty to look at, but very little substance.
Apr 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful book and just perfect for me, over here wondering how to do a little more for ourselves during the global pandemic. I am so glad I bought it. Really well done.
Apr 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is beautiful and full of great tidbits that I can't wait to try out! ...more
Beth Gott
Jul 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book, full of great ideas and inspiration that accessible to everyone!
Aug 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
What a fun book to dip into to find introductory instructions to dozens (hundreds?) of self-reliant living activities. From food preservation to gardening, livestock, sewing, crafts and more.
Aug 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Maybe one to buy... :)
Aug 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020, nonfiction
This is a very helpful book.
Sep 29, 2020 rated it liked it
Lots of good information, but very North American centric
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I’ve been a freelance writer for a dozen years or more and have authored several books. A conversation with a friend got me thinking about creating a blog. I wanted to help readers take small steps toward a more self-reliant lifestyle, embracing some of the vintage skills that have been lost over the past few generations.

I launched in 2011 to answer the question: What if

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