4 min readJun 23, 2021


The Green NFT: Digital Sustainability in Realm

Building an infinite universe and using AR, VR and MR to live, play, work and experience it puts sustainability pressures on the planet. Creating virtual worlds takes physical technology. But it doesn’t have to be environmentally costly. At Realm we believe in digital sustainability.

Removing CO2 from the air is the first step. Reducing our emissions to zero is the long-term goal. To that end, at Realm we are continually challenging ourselves to be carbon neutral. We have a two pronged strategy for attaining our ambition of green, environmentally sustainable, NFT worlds. We have partnered with Eden Reforestation Projects to offset our virtual footprint with IRL trees. We’ll get to that in a minute, first the technology.

Using technology for digital sustainability

Expensive fees, worsening user experience, and low transactions per second are secondary to the environmental impact of minting NFTs through a Proof-of-Work (POW) consensus mechanism. POW requires enormous computation power (so much that El Salvador is touting volcanoes as an energy source for Bitcoin mining. Yes, volcanoes!) There will be no such environmental impact with the NFT Metaverse of Realm.

The biggest factor in sustainability is our partnership with Reef Chain and Polygon. Polygon operates a Proof-of-Stake (POS) consensus mechanism which offers a more energy efficient alternative to the Ethereum Proof-of-Work consensus mechanism.

Without getting lost in the technicalities and using all our cognitive power to understand, a POS consensus doesn’t need the insane computing power that POW does. This is because transactions don’t need to be verified by highly complex mathematical number crunching. POS verifies transactions using a quasi-random selection process based on (among other factors) the number of coins a node has staked. We will speak at length on Polygon, Plasma, side chains and Matic POS at a later date.

The upshot of this is faster trading speeds whilst lowering our environmental impact by as much as 99%. A transaction processed on Polygon has around 8,500 times fewer emissions than a transaction processed on Layer 1 Ethereum.

So, not only will our partnerships with Reef Chain and Polygon allow you to access DeFi and the wonderful world of NFTs at lightning speed and without technical and financial constraints, it will lower our CO2 emissions whilst simultaneously giving access to the best teams and performance in the blockchain system. The only volcanoes will be the ones you design in your own personal Metaverse.

A tree for a tree: Digital Sustainability IRL

Created by D K for the #memes4realm competition. Join our Telegram group to share yours!

We are really excited by the second strategy in our carbon neutral future. We will introduce you more to the pets in the Realm universe in due course. In essence they are the most advanced expression of on-chain genetics to date. These pets will act as your guide through the realms. Every player will receive their own animated 3D pet upon entering the realms. Why an interactive pet matters for digital sustainability IRL can be explained by our partnership with the Eden Reforestation Projects. We are very excited about this partnership and believe it will be an awesome addition to our carbon neutral operation. You’ll like it too.

Realm pet prototype. I think they’re hungry. They need a tree!

Just as any animal, the pets in the Realm universe need to eat. They eat the fruit from the native trees. As you are creating your NFT Metaverse you will need to consider this, and plant trees accordingly (you don’t want your verifiably unique pet going hungry, do you?). What comes next is why we are so eager to celebrate this partnership. Every time you plant a tree in your realm, Eden Reforestation Projects will pay a local community to plant mangrove trees, not only offsetting any remaining CO2 emissions but improving the economy of these communities: a virtual tree for a physical tree. Your pets won’t go hungry and you will be saving the planet.

Even though Reef Chain and Polygon will create huge CO2 savings for Realm, we wanted to reduce our CO2 levels further. By partnering with the Eden Reforestation Projects, we can remove 12.5KG of CO2 per tree/per year, and because mangrove trees thrive in the swamps where land meets water, they also cut erosion.

We are adamant that by incorporating the greenest and cleanest projects in the blockchain system and harnessing the projects and philosophy of Eden Reforestation Projects, Realm players can build, create, trade and experience a new Metaverse and re-imagine the world of NFTs safe in the knowledge they are protecting the physical world while they explore a digital realm.

We will spend large parts of our future lives exploring the Metaverse, but, until Elon Musk takes us all to Mars, we will need to look after our dear planet Earth. Digital sustainability is how we achieve this. A Green, environmentally sustainable, NFT world.

A tree for a tree. How many are you going to plant?

Created by Arda Kaynak for the #memes4realm competition. Join our Telegram group and drop yours!

Realm is expected to launch July 2021. For now, join us on Twitter, Telegram, and Instagram for updates, drops, and fun.