The Cautious Optimist

The Cautious Optimist Project

Embark on your ‘Life as a Learning Lab’ Journey

Danielle graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology and Oceanography from Dalhousie University. She aspired to combine her passion for the ocean, waters, and culture with her experience in education and outreach.

Danielle Moore was a member of Waterlution’s 2018-2019 Youth Advisory Board, originally from Toronto and living in Winnipeg, Treaty 1 Territory while volunteering with Waterlution.”

Very sadly and tragically, she passed away in an aviation accident while travelling to Kenya for the United Nations Environment Assembly on March 10, 2019. Danielle was one of the selected Canadian youth delegates for the conference.

Danielle’s essence and passion for the environment inspired everyone she met, including Waterlution’s staff and volunteers. In early 2019, Danielle launched The Cautious Optimist, through this “life as a learning lab” skill-building and blogging project, she vowed to learn new skills each month that could help her survive (and combat) a climate apocalypse!

To honour Danielle, the 2018-2019 Youth Advisors decided to continue the life-skills project which included 19 blogs spanning from gardening, sewing, fishing, foraging, and much more! 

In 2021 Waterlution has expanded this inspiring project and selected 21 Learning Leads to embark and document their own skill building journeys.

Expanded 2021 Cautious Optimist Project

The response to the Call for Learning Leads was amazing and there were many exceptional submissions. We have selected 21 Learning Leads with diverse skill building projects from across Canada and the United States, and we look forward to seeing them progress throughout 2021.

Watch this space as our Learning Leads share their projects

Follow these amazing people as they develop new skills AND YOU CAN LEARN WITH THEM TOO via their blogs and vlogs

  • Joanne Cerdan (ON) – Small Space Gardening
  • Kelsey Lane (NS) – Repurposing Food Waste, Making Compost, and Fertilizer from Chickens
  • Nadia Milleron (MA, USA) – Growing Flowers
  • Stephanie Pheasant Recollet (ON) – Fishing and Fish Skin Crafts
  • Cailey Campbell (ON) – Growing corn from seeds
  • Rachel Krueger (ON) – Cooking with food scraps, Growing food scraps, and making paper
  • Heather Ibbetson (NB) – Balcony Gardening and Apartment gardening
  • Segen Merheteab (ON) – Plant identification in nature, understanding the ways to grow, and harvest plants
  • Hannah Brown (AB) – Mushroom Foraging and cooking with mushrooms
  • Melinda Munding (ON) – Vermicomposting
  • Katie Yantzi (ON) – Sewing and mending with a focus on various textiles
  • Elisabeth Huang (ON) – Regrowing food from food scraps and cooking with them
  • Melissa Dick (QB) – Aural exploration of the natural world using audio recordings
  • Amy Sinclair (BC) – Wool Processing, spinning, and knitting
  • Kristen Tymoshuk (NS) – Bike restoration
  • Paul Whipp (ON) – Sail canoe build and expedition across the Great Lakes
  • Caden Hebb & Lily Barraclough (NS) – Hugelkultur
  • Amy Darrell (ON) – Creating electricity by building small scale generators which use renewable energy

Check out the amazing skills the 2021 Learning Leads are developing and also read blog posts from previous Youth Advisors.

Explore the Original Series

Learning Like Velcro

Spinning Love

A Lesson in Dyeing