by Tasfia Chowdhury
Within currency and technology, the rise of selling, trading and purchasing non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and digital artwork has been popularised by many but has subtly created a significant environmental problem. In this mindless magazine article collaboration, I will discuss the climate issues created by non-fungible tokens and how young consumers can push a movement to persuade artists and companies, which create digital art, to change their practices to be more sustainable.
What is an NFT?
Non-fungible tokens are one-of-a-kind pieces of artwork created by artists and companies, which are sold digitally through a blockchain. Most blockchains run on Ethereum, a form of Cryptocurrency and get sold through marketplaces online. 
Although this has become a popular form of investment and a successful selling trade-off of art, using blockchain to create NFT pieces has also curated a large environmental footprint. Marketplaces for NFT art, including SuperRare, OpenSea, Crypto.com etc., have created their million-dollar sales through securing transactions with Mining.  As the platforms run on Ethereum, a blockchain that uses “238,22 kilowatts of energy per hour” , this has increased the electrical energy consumed globally. Validating these transactions has also been shown to equate to the same amount of energy used to run a small country, and once artwork is purchased, traded or sold, this adds to the pollution.
In addition, electricity consumption is not the only cause of the environmental footprint. When artists use more computer power to generate and exchange, the number of cryptocurrency miners rises, and each creation has its production and economic effects.
Are there any solutions?
A viable solution would be that NFT artists and companies sell their artwork but use a different type of cryptocurrency to make exchanges. Using Tezos, Symbol or Polygon is a great starting point as they all support selling NFT curations and depend on less powerful computer systems, which result in using less electricity overall.  The younger generation pushing a narrative for designers to use more sustainable forms of blockchains and raising awareness about this issue could also make a significant change to the industry.
Although media outlets mention Ethereum 2.0 as a more sustainable method, this is far from being created.  However, if artists feel more at ease using the most popular cryptocurrency form or believe that this would be the best option for their artwork, they can still reduce their carbon footprint by:
Lazy minting: This method requires only producing an NFT after the first and previous sale; this would not drastically change the amount of energy used but will reduce the carbon footprint by 2x as they on produced on demand. 
Side-chains: Curated NFTs start by being minted through other forms of blockchain and then moved onto ethereum.
Designing Bridges additionally helps reduce the carbon footprint as this helps ecosystems of different blockchains compatible. Blockchains which struggle to interact can do so through this method, which assists designers in switching from using Ethereum to a less popular chain without losing any of their data.
 https://www.statista.com/statistics/1265891/ethereum-energy-consumption-transaction comparison-visa/
 https://www.forbes.com/uk/advisor/investing/cryptocurrency/what-is-ethereum-2/  https://github.com/memo/eco-nft