A lot of people grapple with the question: “Do non-fungible tokens (NFTs) harm the environment? And if you’re one of those people, well, that’s great! Let us explain, what we mean is we’re happy that you’re concerned about lowering your carbon footprint on the blockchain and protecting the natural world whether you build digital or physical NFT. You are conscientious, we like that, and we like you! And that is important for sustainable art NFTs.
There’s a misconception that all NFTs are bad for the environment, but we’ll show you how some Art NFTs are getting greener and more sustainable. There are many blockchains and NFT marketplaces, but there are also more and more green options to consider. Option A is the best option.
We’re going to show you that NFTs don’t have to be digital art, they can also be physical art. PHYSICAL PIECES OF ART! AAAaaaaah! There are many brands that are using digital tokens to sell physical products. This technology makes it easy to explore information about a topic.
We want to help you get started with Art NFTs, so we can show you the ropes. But did you know that NFTs have been around FOREVER? They aren’t going anywhere, so even gaining just a tiny bit of insight may give you some valuable takeaways about how art NFTs are becoming more sustainable.
Art NFTs are just as important as email marketing, and they’ll be here for a long time and be more sustainable. There are challenges to overcome, like how Apple’s iOS was inflating and distorting its email open rates. Despite the challenges, there are ways to overcome them. There are many types of NFTs around us – one behind you, be careful! Just kidding, and they can be a great help as you enter the new Web 3.0 era. Come join us in welcoming a new and exciting art scene!
An NFT is a unique digital asset that cannot be easily replicated. Fungible means that the object can be reproduced. NFTs are digital assets that can be stored, sold, and traded on online marketplaces. Some examples of virtual goods (NFTs) that people may be familiar with are Monkey cartoons or CryptoPunks. Some people love virtual goods. If they team up, they might be able to kill zombies together!
Art NFTs are unique because you can create them and once they’re published on a blockchain, they’re irreversible. If someone can copy an existing NFT, they may be able to exploit the vulnerability. A blockchain should have corroboration from other parts of the system, such as the ledger or the network. The blockchain is an ally who is always accurate, but we all despise him because of it.
This is something we’ve talked about before in a previous article, A Step-By-Step Guide Explaining: How Can Artists Make An NFT (Easy Steps).
Alexis Fedor is frustrated with the lack of NFT creation by women. THAT. MUST. CHANGE. She felt like she’d stumbled into “bro-land” with all these online bros making the rules, the content, and the communication. Ugh. (Imagine throwing a house party and only crypto bros showed up boring!)
There are many examples of artists and brands using Sustainable Art NFTs to sell physical products. Casey Golden created Luxlock which provides physical NFTs in the form of fashion wear. A consumer can purchase a high-end jacket and then receive an NFT version of it for their avatar. As Golden pointed out, “offering a unique NFT is a much better use of marketing funds than an Instagram post.” Why not do both? Post about your NFT collection to your followers on your social media platforms!
The Alpha Girl Club partnered with Women and Weapons to give community members a chance to win one of their free NFT mints. They wrote about it on social media and asked people to share.
Another fun example of physical NFTs would be that of Burnett New York, a “ready-to-wear women’s brand known for its signature feminine sensibility and evangelizing ambitious women.” They’ve teamed up with Citizen-T, founded by artist Stephanie Dillion, a fashion brand “championed by artists and donned by ethical citizens hell-bent on changing the world.”
Together they’ve unveiled their experiential Resort 2023 collection, “non-manufactured garments, made by deconstructing existing fast-fashion pieces and recrafting them into high-fashion collectables.
In past articles, we’ve talked about the OpenSea NFT marketplace, one of the biggest and most popular in the world. It’s great for beginners and it also supports the Ethereum blockchain. Yes, in the case of Ethereum. Do NFTs harm the environment? Ethereum’s blockchain is currently using proof-of-work algorithms, so NFT creation can take some time. Hey! (Oh, and, minting is when your NFT becomes verifiable on a blockchain).
According to Investopedia, “Every transaction on the Ethereum proof-of-work platform, including every NFT transaction, uses more than 260 kilowatt-hours of electricity—equivalent to the electricity used by an average U.S. household over 9.05 days.” A New York Times article pointed out that minting your average NFT is like driving 500 miles in a gas-powered car. Double boo! But there is another way…
The “proof-of-stake” operating method generates NFTs without using massive amounts of electricity or negatively affecting the environment. Per CNBC, proof-of-stake requires “far less power than mining and will translate to faster transactions.” We’re not going to bore you with all the details, just know that proof-of-stake is significantly better for the environment… but if you ARE interested in the nitty-gritty details, here’s a piece by CoinDesk that breaks down proof-of-work vs proof-of-stake.
The good news with Ethereum is that it is gradually transitioning to the proof-of-stake operating method. In June of this year (2022), it completed a successful first attempt in testing its proof-of-stake blockchains. There is still a lot of work to be done before they can merge the proof-of-stake blockchains, but you can track its progress by keeping an eye out for updates on the Ethereum Blog. Once Ethereum goes from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake, it will “use at least 99.95% less energy post-merge.”
Solana made its network carbon neutral for 2021 and is committed to continuing to do so in 2022, “Using Watershed Climate, the foundation is funding refrigerant destruction, one of the most effective ways to maximize carbon offsets. The process involves incentivizing the proper disposal of CFCs, which permanently eliminates them.” Bloomberg has noted that Solana uses the least energy per transaction. Solana supports NFT marketplaces including Magic Eden, Solanart, and Rabbit Hole.
Joy Hughes, AKA JoyoGraphic, is an artist dedicated to climate change and creates skyscapes and generative photography, which led her to Solana. In 2021, one of the best-known artists in the NFT scene, Emily Yang, aka pplpleasr, known for designing the cover of Fortune magazine, recently dropped a new project on Solana: “The Collectoooooor” which included 500 pieces of 3D ducks, buildings, UFOs and all kinds of other artworks. OMG, don’t you wanna check it out?
Algorand is the world’s first carbon-negative blockchain and was designed with the intent of minimizing its impact on the environment, “Compared to the Bitcoin blockchain, digital asset creation and transactions on Algorand result in 120 million times less CO2 emissions.” Some popular NFT marketplaces used by Algorand include Aorist, Algogems, AB2 Gallery, ALGOxNFT, Rand Gallery, Abris, and Darkroom.
High-profile artist Ed Smith, a painter and sculptor, recently tokenized a number of his famous works on Dahai, a fine art marketplace operating in Algorand. In June of this year, Nancy Baker Cahill, minted a video of her “Mushroom Cloud NYC/RISE” (a huge mushroom cloud enveloping New York City) on Algorand, with the mission of sharing and conserving resources and bringing awareness to climate change. She debuted it in June at the 2022 Tribeca Festival’s Immersive Program. Viewers could experience the work in real-time via augmented reality with Baker Cahill’s free 4th Wall App when standing at the end of Pier 25 in New York City. The physical and virtual worlds collide once again.
Cardano, named after Italian Mathematician Gerolamo Cardano, as of writing this, is the largest cryptocurrency to use a proof-of-stake blockchain. Bloomberg has noted that Cardano uses the least energy per node of all the blockchains. Cardano supports several NFT marketplaces, including CNFT and Galaxy of Art. They also support Lovada, where the entire platform has zero net emissions, pretty incredible stuff.
In 2021, Cardano partnered with Eco-Age, hosts of the Renaissance Awards which rewards four categories: environmentally restorative, socially just, economically inclusive, and technologically balanced, and are bestowed to activists across the world.
Some notable up-and-coming artists who use the Cardano blockchain are Kimika Baba, a Japan-based calligraphy artist, Polyannie, an artist whose mission is to expose censorship and empower, and Davash Entry, a 3D artist who uses neon lights, film photography, and night photography for his creations.
Tezos has claimed that it has an “average energy footprint of 17 global citizens.” Tezos hosts several NFT marketplaces, including Raible. AND of Tezos’s greatest attributes is that it has NO MINTING fees. According to Leafscore, minting costs on Ethereum, for example, “can run to well above $150 per NFT, meaning that creators have to price their NFTs at more than $150 to make any profit.” So watch out for those fees!
David Tng and Katherine Ng, the folks behind blockchain consultancy TZ APAC, have long been advocates of the “CleanNFTs” movement, “a global effort that advocates for eco-friendly practices and a lower carbon footprint in the NFT space.
They’ve pointed to artists that they love and support, including Mumu the Stan, an artist and community leader from Malaysia, who creates NFTs on the Tezos blockchain. Her work advocates gender representation, people of colour representation, Muslim representation, and mental health awareness and support. Zancan, a traditional oil painter who is now doing generative art, and Yazid Azahari, an experimental maker of generative art, also host their works on Tezos and are environmentally conscious with their work.
The blouse that Alexis Fedor bought was part of the Polygon blockchain. Brands like Adidas, Prada, and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) have all launched NFT projects on it as well.
When it comes to eco-friendliness, to put it in perspective, Polygon’s yearly energy consumption of greenhouse emissions is equivalent to “122 passenger vehicles driven for one year.” When it comes to its annual CO2 emissions, “101 homes’ electricity use for one year.” Other NFT marketplaces it supports include Refinable, NFTrade, and tofuNFT.
Per this article by Bloomberg, “Polkadot has the lowest total electricity consumption and total carbon emissions per year of the six so-called proof-of-stake blockchains studied, according to a report from Ulrich Gallersdörfer, Lena Klaaßen, and Christian Stoll of the Crypto Carbon Ratings Institute.”
XENO NFT Hub and PolkaFantasy are Sustainable NFTs of Art marketplaces you can find on Polkadot. In 2021, RBW Japan, which represents popular girl group Mamamoo and other K-Pop artists such as Vromance and Oneus, are minting tokens on XENO NFT Hub which will give their fans the ability to own digital products related to the RBW entertainers.
Some of the major proof-of-stake operations are reducing your carbon footprint on the blockchain.
What’s cool about NFTs is that you can link them to philanthropic causes. As we discussed before in our article, A Step-By-Step Guide Explaining: How Can Artists Make An NFT NFT collections like Sad Girls Bar, Sacred Skulls, and Meemo’s World were linked to mental health causes.
As Newsroom UCLA reported, “world-renowned visual artist Refik Anadol, who creates mesmerizing AI-driven digital artworks using massive data sets, recently donated the proceeds from an NFT to the Open Earth Foundation, as part of an art auction called The Carbon Drop. His piece, ‘Machine Hallucinations: Nature Dreams – Last Memory,’ sold on Nifty Gateway for more than $300,000.’”
One of our favourite NFT experts, Randi Zuckerberg, CEO of Zuckerberg Media, recently set up a project in response to the Uvalde school shooting, where all proceeds go to Everytown For Gun Safety. Twenty-one artists from the community banded together and donated NFTs for the project (three were kids younger than twelve). Everytown Save the Art Foundation will always donate back to the charity as long as the contract is in place. You will earn a share of any NFT transactions, and everything is thanks to the constant updates and considerations related to sustainable art NFTs.