According to new research by the NFT Club, millions of trees are needed to offset NFT carbon dioxide emissions. Therefore, it is more important than ever for NFT projects to start offsetting their carbon footprint.
NFT Club states: “Over its lifespan, it is estimated that an average NFT will produce 211kg of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere as a result of the process of creating and purchasing the digital artwork. A single tree can offset 60kg of CO2 on average; therefore it will take 3.52 trees to offset the life of an NFT.”
The research notes that adding any NFT to a blockchain uses around 83kg of CO2 (1.38 trees). Furthermore, all primary mint sales of NFTs have this environmental cost, regardless of their price. Secondary sales are not exempt, as they still produce 81kg of CO2 (1.35 trees).
NFT Club listed CryptoKitties and Sorare as the two collections that led to the highest carbon dioxide emissions. The former produced 239.83 million KGs of CO2; while the primary sales of the latter resulted in the emission of 20.71 million KGs of CO2.
Why is it important for NFT project owners to offset carbon dioxide?
In April 2021, Axie Infinity migrated to the Ronin blockchain. The Ronin blockchain uses 0.0000015 kg CO2 per transaction, which is far less than the Ethereum blockchain.
In addition to migrating to less wasteful blockchains, NFT Club also suggests NFT project owners need to commit to planting more trees. On average, a single tree can process 60kg of CO2 in its lifetime. 1.37 trees are needed to offset one NFT sale. Therefore, 6.85m trees would need to be planted for 5m NFTs. Additionally, the researchers calculate that the number of NFT transactions the world’s trees could currently cope with is around 2.2 trillion.
By planting more trees, using clean energy, and opting for proof-of-stake blockchains, NFT project owners can ensure they do their part for the environment. In addition, projects such as Crypto Climate Accord are working hard to decarbonize the cryptocurrency industry.