In the last decade, there has been a growing awareness of the importance of sustainability, both locally and globally. The current growth in technology has made it possible to do more with less, which has led to the rapid expansion of the global population while at the same time causing unprecedented destruction of our natural resources.
We also have an unprecedented understanding of climate change and its effects on our world. As a result, many people are seeking ways to live more sustainably, both personally and professionally.
Protecting the Rainforest
The Amazon Rainforest is in trouble. In fact, it’s in very big trouble.
In the last few decades, nearly a fifth of the Amazon has been deforested and converted to agricultural land for purposes like soybean farming and cattle ranching. Deforestation is the leading cause of Brazil’s greenhouse gas emissions. Globally, tropical deforestation causes around 20% of annual greenhouse gas emissions.
The rainforest covers 5.5 million square kilometers (2.1 million square miles), or 40% of South America’s area. It stores an estimated 120 billion metric tons of carbon — equivalent to 10 times the carbon humans release into the atmosphere each year. Yet, humanity is still actively destroying one of the keys to life.
Amazon Watch is a leading environmental organization fighting the degradation of the Amazon. This is one of the initiatives supported by Next Earth, the project selling NFT tiles from a digital replica of Earth. With each NFT purchase, 10% is allocated to environmental organizations like Amazon Watch.
Cleaning the Oceans
Our oceans are in crisis. The rapid degradation of the environment is putting marine life in danger, and many experts believe that we may be reaching a point of no return.
As the world’s population grows ever larger and more industrialized, it has put an increasing strain on our natural resources. With over three-quarters of fish stocks fully exploited or over-exploited, and it’s expected that by 2050 there with more plastic than fish in the oceans by weight, there are serious concerns about what this means for the future of our ecosystem.
The solution to this problem is not as simple as banning plastics – although that would certainly help – it will take a major overhaul of how we live our lives to change consumer behavior. But perhaps technology can play a part too?
The Ocean Cleanup is one initiative aiming to remove plastic waste from our oceans. As with Amazon Watch, an allocation of NFT purchases on Next Earth are donated to this environmental group.
Innovative companies like Next Earth have come up with solutions that make us rethink how we consume digital content; from virtual real estate, and soon to land art, which can be bought and sold as NFTs.
These NFTs allow people to express themselves by owning unique assets, rather than just being “branded” users on social media platforms or having their data tracked online. This allows them greater control over how they present themselves online, which has obvious benefits for society beyond just looking cool: freedom from conformity improves mental health.
Ultimately, NFTs are powerful in many ways: As tools for creative self-expression, and also as ways to support your famous environmental initiatives, from cleaning up plastic in the oceans to saving our precious rainforests.
Photo by Shai Pal on Unsplash