What a kick-off to our summer break we had! It started with the question "Dad, can you make this into an NFT?" My son had been up in his room. Reorganizing. He had found some things he wanted to discard but then decided to make something out of it, carefully tying scoubidou laces through the holes of a piece of cardboard packaging. He had put some extra attention into making the knots of the scoubidou laces to his liking. Then he came to proudly show his work and asked me to create an NFT out of it. He had seen me do that. Heard me talk about it, and we visited the NFT Factory in Paris together, an art gallery exhibiting NFT art. So, for this 9-year-old, it was not a weird thing to ask.

Making an NFT

Together, we discussed the brief for this assignment. The young artist had just hired an NFT maker, so that NFT maker had to understand the wishes and requirements of this important client. The brief was succinct, with some creative freedom left for the hired help. We also agreed on one very important aspect: what to do with the earnings. Did the young artist want to keep everything himself, or maybe direct part of it towards a good cause?

For the young artist, this was an easy decision to make. Without hesitation, he decided that he wanted three-quarters of his earnings to go to planting trees. Because that's good for the planet.

Fragment of the art in question, courtesy of The ODG

Open edition planting

After an iteration or two, the young artist was happy with the result, and the NFT was minted on the Tezos blockchain and then listed for 2 Tezos in an open edition for 9 days. For those who have no idea what that means: for a period of 9 days, people could acquire an edition of this piece of art for the price of 2 Tezos. The editions acquired, or collected, in this 9-day period are the only ones in existence. The young artist, let's call him The ODG, sold a total of 11 editions, earning him a total of 22 Tezos. That means a lovely sum of 16.5 Tezos for planting trees.Now our challenge is to find an organisation that plants trees and accepts Tezos as donation.

Young artist planting trees in a Minecraft-like word - AI generated

Three types of tree-planters

The next step is to find a suitable tree-planting partner. This is not as easy as it seems. Although there are many organisations that plant trees, there are at first sight not that many who accept any type of crypto. In my search I found out there are three basic types of tree-planters:

  1. traditional charities that do not accept crypto;
  2. ngos that accept crypto through a service provider;
  3. Web3 native tree-planters.

Obviously, my first move in trying to figure this out was not turning towards Google, but turning to my friends on Discord and Farcaster. It led me to one organisation that looks like it can do the job: For Trees Club. And an NFT project that seems promising but looks like it for now exists only in a pitch deck. This is the corner of the Web3 native tree planters, which includes exciting jargon such as treegens (versus degens) and ReFi (vs. DeFi). And apparently, going down that rabbit hole means you are greenpilled. The great part is that these guys can plant a tree for 10 cents, and can also deliver an AI to verify the trees have been planted.

And what about the rest?

There are also very experienced, traditional NGOs that can plant trees for you. Either at a per-tree price or for a monthly subscription. Of course, these organisations also provide a tax-deduction-proof proof of payment, if you live in the corresponding fiscal jurisdiction. The very traditional ones do not accept crypto and the price of a tree ranges from about 9 to 20 Euro, or even more.

More interesting are the, often seemingly smaller, organisations that live and breathe the "as-a-service" culture. They raise funds and work with partners who execute the tree planting on their behalf. In true style, they also accept crypto-as-a-service: a provider handles the payment, with daily conversions to fiat and weekly payouts, or something like that.

For the culture

My preference is to go where the culture goes and stick with the Web3 Natives. The downside at the moment: they are either too busy planting trees, or too busy creating pitch decks for their full-on dynamic NFT tree-planting pfproject. They are not able to answer my simple question on where their Tezos wallet is at, so I can convert the fortune my son made into trees.

BYOB (Be Your Own Bank)

Still, they are doing great stuff. And if I can't get my answer about paying with Tezos, I will be my crypto-cashier-as-a-service. I will magically turn that 16.5 Tezos into 20 USD and buy myself some no-frills trees at 10 cents apiece. For that, I even seem to get a before and after video that my son can show in school when he tells his new class after summer break about his global impact.

Thank you for reading. Find me on Farcaster and arjantypan.xyz.