How the Metaverse Could Open the Door to Better Sustainability
People interested in sustainability have debated the metaverse’s ethical and sustainable potential since its inception. Are data centers using too much power? Is it worth it to use resources on “fake” experiences? Contrary to popular belief, the metaverse may inspire more sustainable living and technological development.
Eco-conscious innovations and metaverse technologies advance faster every day. With climate change discourse seeping into every sector, the metaverse must follow these strategies or sacrifice users. It might become a more eco-friendly way to shop and experience various aspects of life.
1. Reimagining Influencer Sponsorships
Influencer brand deals are increasing in number, diversity, and persistence. Environmentalists are crying out against excessive and unsustainable influencer sponsorships that promote hyperconsumerism and unethical companies. The desire to purchase physical products from influencers that inevitably leads to waste and supports unfair labor practices transforms the metaverse in multiple ways.
For example, consider a fashion influencer who creates frequent lookbooks and partnerships with fashion brands to display new trends. PR packages and habitual clothing shopping lead to overfilled closets and textile waste. Influencers spread this ecologically damaging behavior to viewers.
What if the influencer didn’t have to discard textile waste at all? Instead, their wardrobe was digital, and viewers could still get their shopping fix and self-expressive experience wearing that item in a metaverse setting. Even the first person to purchase a digital dress thinks it would work well in this way on apps like TikTok.
The metaverse promotes sustainability by dismantling assumptions about status. Flaunting excessive wealth and spending is one of the world’s most problematic environmental stressors. Transferring these habits to digital spaces may not solve the inherent issues with this concept, but it will remove the harm from the physical world.
In these controlled environments, professionals oversee environmental data and can implement business changes to improve how green the metaverse is. Oversight like this is not possible in an influencer’s home.
2. Inspiring Changes in Cryptocurrency and Blockchain
Cryptocurrency mining is one of the most environmentally destructive technologies of the 21st century. With the metaverse, Web3, and cryptocurrency so tightly associated, it’s essential for these assets to go green. Otherwise, the metaverse cannot be genuinely sustainable. The metaverse’s value could be $2.6 trillion by 2030, so for that amount to matter, users will want sustainable and safe ways to experience shopping.
In 2022, crypto giant Ethereum responded by announcing a massive change in its transaction validation structure. The previous method of proof-of-work forced crypto miners to solve complex math puzzles and use lots of energy to validate exchanges. Now, validators put up tokens as collateral to prove transaction history, slashing carbon footprints by over ninety-nine percent.
Metaverse adoption and global climate change goals are the reasons behind these shifts. They are necessary to make digital currencies viable and eco-friendly, which is one of the most significant barriers to their integration in addition to regulatory action.
3. Standardizing Metaverse Spec Requirements
One of the criticisms of metaverse adoption is an intense need for technological upgrades. For example, most phones and computers will need updated graphics cards and AR and VR peripherals compatibility.
This is only scratching the surface. Upgrades like this globally are costly, resulting in countless pounds of e-waste. The only way the metaverse can prevent this is by focusing on accessibility. If they want users, they will prioritize this to lead to a greener metaverse.
Sustainability forces metaverse adoption to consider compatibility with a wide range of tech. It also encourages metaverse operators to eliminate the idea of planned obsolescence. The industry will change if metaverse workers rewrite the assumption that profitable tech companies must design technology to fail before its life span.
The metaverse can prove a sustainable model works by creating peripherals and specs that last, allowing more people to participate in the world. It means more long-term users, which is better for business resiliency. Eventually, other electronics enterprises will be inspired to make their products more durable, eliminating e-waste worldwide.
The Eco-Friendly Metaverse
The metaverse is a contentious topic among Earth’s advocates. The energy needed to power it almost trumps every other conversation, but it neglects the sustainable potential behind metaverse adoption.
It could reduce physical waste and motivate the tech sector to make processes more eco-friendly, like blockchain or using renewable energy to power data centers. The influence a sustainable metaverse could have on the rest of the world is inarguable, primarily for what tech companies prioritize.