Why Are NFTs Bad for the Environment?

6 Jun 2022

To understand the environmental effect of NFTs, we must first define what a carbon footprint is. 

To determine a product's "carbon footprint," scientists look at how much carbon is emitted into the atmosphere during production and consumption.

Depending on the product being created, this process can appear quite different. What are the inputs required, for example, while making a glass bottle? Are they virgin or recycled materials? 

What type of energy is used throughout the manufacturing process? There are two questions: What is within the bottle, and how does the bottle get to its final destination? 

It is nearly always necessary for us to make an educated guess since so many factors determine the carbon footprint of a person or thing.

To understand the possible impact of a given object, such as an NFT, on the natural environment, it can be helpful to utilize an estimate rather than an exact footprint calculation.

Is an NFT environmentally friendly? 

There have been few studies on the carbon footprint of NFT minting, and there are a variety of procedures in which the carbon footprint is unknown. 

As a result, the carbon footprint of a single Ethereum transaction is estimated by Digiconomist. 

This website analyzes the unintended consequences of digital innovations, 37.29kg of CO2 (May 2021). 82,648 VISA transactions or 6,215 hours of YouTube viewing are the environmental equivalents here.

Others have predicted the carbon footprint of NFTs based on the fact that each time an NFT is minted or sold, a new transaction is added to the Ethereum blockchain. 

NFTs' carbon impact is attributed to this occurrence, according to these people. 

It is estimated that the manufacture of NFT releases around 48 kg of carbon dioxide. 

As previously stated, the carbon footprint left by NFTs is disproportionately large and should probably not be authorized when creating a digital piece of art. This stays true regardless of how the data is divided.

As a result, many artists have made the conscious decision to steer clear of NFTs at all costs.

It's been said that making such a choice is equivalent to giving up flying, using public transportation to work, or cutting down on meat consumption. 

Since none of these products are necessary, if we were to remove them from our lives, we would be able to reduce our carbon footprints.

Compared to chicken, beef has almost ten times the carbon footprint, meaning that cutting out meat from our diets might significantly impact our total carbon footprint over many years and decades. 

And if eliminating beef helps us reduce our carbon footprint, then avoiding the manufacturing or purchase of new NFTs is unquestionably desirable.

References (Example)

[1] <name>, '<title>' (online, <year>) <link>.
[2] BULB, 'Write to Earn. Read to Earn' (online, 2022) <https://www.bulbapp.io/>

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