Creating a sustainable identity using NFTs.

Living a sustainable lifestyle and actively identifying as one can motivate others to change their ways of living and become more ecologically aware. In the article, we go through how the rainforest token enables people to live sustainably and also flaunt its positive impact utilizing NFTs, the modern era’s new social status symbol.

NFTs are a 21st-century social status symbol.

The distinctiveness of most status symbols throughout history has been a distinguishing quality. The inherent non-fungibility of objects such as artwork, apparel, and so on, raises their intrinsic value. Traditionally, people purchase luxury products to showcase them. They are looking for pieces that are rare, timeless, premium priced,  high quality, and personalized. With the turn of the century came the growth of the internet and a new generation with a different value system. We are witnessing a shift away from traditional status symbols and toward digital assets in the form of NFTs because of their traits and utilities.

Beeple’s collage, Everyday’s: The First 5000 Days, sold at Christie’s for 69 million dollars. A record sale for digital art.

An NFT is a token that, when minted on a blockchain network, carries unique metadata that presents it as a unique item. There will never be another item of the same kind, and this information can be readily verified on the blockchain it was minted on. This attribute makes all NFTs 1 of 1 and inherently rare. NFTs can be anything, a picture, sound, or words, and can also be used to represent non-digital assets, a work of art, real estate, and so on. They cannot be duplicated or counterfeited because it would be impossible to do so on the blockchain.  

Historically, we can tell that a common association with status symbols is those who used them. The bourgeois and ultra-wealthy of society were always identified with status symbols. To show off their wealth, they would spend large sums of money on purchasing these items as a means to distinguish their socio-economic status. It has been no different with NFTs as we see billionaires, musicians, actors, etc., all trying to associate with this century’s latest symbol of luxury and wealth. Spending millions of dollars in the process, the NFT industry is valued in the billions of dollars and will likely continue to increase as we see more and more individuals wanting to build an identity around them.

Living sustainably and having a sustainable identity has become a new form of status symbol. 

Going green and adopting a healthier and more ecologically friendly lifestyle should be an action that everyone should take because of its effect on us and our embattled planet. It goes in the direction of being a status symbol, an identity that inspires other individuals to adopt similar changes. A report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change states that lifestyle modifications can help reduce emissions by up to 70% by the year 2050.

However, to achieve this would require a change in narrative and a clear shift from those unsustainable practices that are the current lifestyle of many individuals. It is imperative we consider and bring to normalcy practices that are sustainable, such as working remotely, driving less, and taking the bus more often. Effectively realigning society’s priorities to think first about the environment before personal gratification. 

In recent years, especially after the pandemic, we’ve seen more and more individuals switching to these sustainable alternatives, a more environmentally conscious approach to spending. Sustainability is becoming a status symbol. Most would consider purchasing an electric vehicle, such as a Tesla, over a petroleum-powered car. While such a purchase may seem to be an inconspicuous display of wealth. On top of that, we also observe the overall willingness-to-pay premium for sustainability (in percentage terms) is 29.5% on average. 

The thought process behind spending resources on a sustainable lifestyle is to create an environment of collective responsibility, which will inevitably translate into a healthier planet for all.

A significant problem facing the adoption of these eco-friendly lifestyle changes is that they are, in some cases, expensive to implement and often inaccessible. This means a large section of society may aspire to live a more sustainable life, but do not have the means or access to do so. If we are to see significant improvement in the adoption of a sustainable lifestyle and identity worldwide, there has to be a solution to which any and everyone can have access.