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NFTs for climate change: How these New Zealand women are creating NFT ‘digital carbon sponges’



  • Two women from New Zealand are turning to NFTs to help save the world and combat climate change as ‘digital carbon sponges.’
  • The two already run a subscription service for Instagram users that removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere at a faster rate than Instagram generates running their accounts.

NFTs have infiltrated every industry, from film to sports to music. Despite being labeled a bubble, it has continued to grow and NFT traders are making millions of dollars every day. But how about using NFTs for positive global change? Two women from New Zealand are doing exactly that and are turning to NFTs to help mitigate climate change and reduce our carbon footprint.

It all started with Leanne Bats, a resident of Auckland, New Zealand. She has been changing her entire lifestyle and living in a more climate-conscious way, including by selling her car, but she realized her effort alone wasn’t enough.

She told local outlet Stuff:

The answer lies in a collective footprint. Turning off emissions, that’s a systemic change at the highest level and that’s where we need to be thinking about.

She teamed up with a friend, Jussara Bierman, and founded Cool Gram, a subscription service charging $5 a month for Instagram users. It then uses the funds to remove more carbon from the atmosphere than it takes for Instagram to run the accounts.

We’re not actually changing anything at the level of Instagram and how they work, we are simply measuring what the output would be, or what a footprint would be and then making sure we’re removing that plus more.

NFTs, Reese Witherspoon, and the Metaverse

Running Cool Gram wasn’t enough. The two friends wanted to do more but needed way more money than the $5 subscriptions. The answer lay in NFTs. They have moved to mint 100 NFTs which they plan to sell starting tomorrow, December 21, to raise money for climate change mitigation activities. Each NFT will be a part of a map and will sell for $1,000.

We’ve drawn this Island One, and we’ve broken it into 100 pieces, so you get a slice. We’re reserving 10, one each for myself and my co-founder, eight are going out as gifts, then we’re selling 90.

The eight which go out as gifts are reserved for influential people and organizations that can bring more attention to the cause. They include Hollywood star Reese Witherspoon, Australian singer Lorde and Re-Inc, a lifestyle brand founded by Megan Rapinoe and other American women footballers. According to Bats, Re-Inc has already confirmed its interest but the celebrities are yet to.

So as these things are bought, sold, traded, they have more impact. We call them little digital carbon sponges, and really what we’d like to do if all goes well is build this place in the metaverse one day.

But, aren’t NFTs going against the goal by consuming vast amounts of energy to mint? The two women went around this by choosing to mint the NFTs on the Solana blockchain. Solana is much more energy-efficient in comparison to Ethereum which is the dominant NFTs network. Former first lady Melania Trump also recently chose Solana to mint her NFTs.

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