About Rob and IWillTry


rob-smokey-250pxMy name is Rob Steves and I live in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. I’m an electrical and mechanical engineer by trade. In what little spare time I have I enjoy designing, building and modifying things (anything really) in an attempt to achieve some kind of long term payback or “yield” for my efforts. A yield can take many forms:

  • saved time, energy, or money
  • increased personal comfort / standard of living
  • personal health benefits
  • environmental benefits
  • etc.

When I first started IWillTry.org, back in 2007, most of my projects revolved around reducing my energy consumption, thus saving money and reducing my carbon footprint and contribution to climate change. After doing a few back-of-napkin calculations, it was clear to me that most of my energy consumption was happening in my home, so most of the projects currently on this site relate to improvements in home energy efficiency.

A few years after starting the website, though, a good friend of mine said “If you really want to reduce your energy consumption and environmental footprint, you should consider growing some of your own food.” Thus began my decent into madness. I became a gardener. I quickly realized that gardening (at least the way I was doing it) was a lot more work for a lot less payback than I had anticipated. I began to experiment with ways of producing the greatest long term payback (yield) for the least effort. It wasn’t long before I discovered there was a word (and a movement behind the word) for what I was trying to do… “permaculture”.

My favourite definition of permaculture comes from Paul Wheaton who is the founder of permies.com and has produced hundreds of videos and podcasts on the subject.

“Permaculture is a more symbiotic relationship with nature so I can be even lazier.” – Paul Wheaton

I haven’t written up many projects since I started pursuing this new line of thinking. However, I have completed many projects that I intend to write up. I am a little worried that the apparent shift in focus from home improvement to “small scale regenerative agriculture” will be a turn-off for some readers, but I hope everyone will acknowledge that the common theme of “DIY with a payback” is as strong as ever.


PS. If you’d like to contact me privately, you may do so by email at rob (at) iwilltry.org.