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How art can draw people into the climate movement

Words by Tess Becker

The climate crisis is here. Across the world climate-related weather events are damaging communities and we’re amidst what is projected to be the hottest year in human history. The problem is that climate action still isn’t always accessible and even when it is it might not be exciting. 

That’s something that Ecosapiens wanted to address, by giving people an incentive to contribute to climate action in an easy, accessible, and fun way using digitally produced art assets. 

The idea came from two men, named Nihar Neelakanti and Garret Kane, who decided to use the power of NFTs to create digital art pieces that people could buy which would also buy carbon credits, essentially helping pull carbon out of the air and work to slow global warming. 

“I came from a climate background and was looking, personally to find a way to make a difference in the planet, but I wasn't finding it out there,” Nihar tells Smiley News. “But I think I think people are ultimately good, I do believe in the goodness of humans and people do care about the planet but you have to make climate action easy, accessible, economical, and you have to make it a part of culture, and it has to be playful.”

When Nihar came across Garret's writing, in which he describes creatures and people healing the environment, he had a lightbulb moment.

“We kind of just became pen pals for a long time just like noodling on this idea riffing on it, and you keep coming back with like, different ideas and, he would just start drawing about it and And he was like, ‘Wait, so we could company makes NFT's that sequester carbon, but really, the vision is to build a product suite that empowers people to live sustainably.’”

The NFTs in question are digital art sculptures made by Garret, that when bought are also supplied with carbon credits so people are contributing to climate action while getting an art collectible out of it. 

“So what you want to do is build a company that turns Homo sapiens and eco sapiens,” Nihar says.

In general, finding and accessing carbon credits for purchase is really difficult for the layman. So on top of providing the art and building a world out of the characters and pieces they’re making at Ecosapiens, they also help make carbon credits accessible. 

Put simply, they serve as a carbon credit middleman. 

“The way we think about is like we're actually consumerizing carbon,” Nihar says.

The idea of carbon and climate action can be so far-reaching and nebulous so this helps connect people to the action that they’re trying to do. 

“It's much more enjoyable and much easier to connect as a consumer if it's something like, buy this beautiful piece of art which is an ecosapien and its one of a kind,” Garret tells Smiley News. “It's you yours, and now you’re fighting for the environment.”

Put succinctly, Nihar and Garret just want to help expand the climate change fight. 

“We exist to help everyday people fight climate change,” Nihar says. “That's why we exist and the thesis from the beginning has been make climate action easy, economical, and elegant.”

Charity check-in

Climate Group. An international organization aimed at driving climate action as quickly as possible. Find out more and support them here.

Climate Action Network.  Climate Action Network brings together nearly 2,000 civic organizations to tackle the climate crisis around the world. Find out more.

Climate Alliance. Thousands of organizations make up this European, urban climate action network. Support them here.

This article aligns with the UN SDG Climate Action.

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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