How Gamification is Saving the Environment
We all are pretty aware of the fact that the world is now standing face-to-face with numerous pressing environmental challenges requiring urgent action. Ecologists and environmental activists have done a remarkable job to bring these issues up for a global discussion. Climate change, deforestation, air pollution, uncontrollable amounts of waste, and other problems require a collective effort from governments, businesses, and individuals.
Since there's always a lot of enthusiasts thinking and caring about the future in the tech field, it's only natural that at some point GreenTech emerged. By combining cutting-edge technology with a focus on sustainability, GreenTech visionaries aim to create a greener and more environmentally conscious future.
The GreenTech market was valued at $10.32 billion in 2020 and is forecasted to grow up to $74.64 billion by 2030. The industry is evolving by leaps and bounds with new startups and niche VC funds appearing each year. It includes providers of both hardware and software who aim at B2B, B2C, and B2G audiences all over the world.
Electric vehicles, biodegradable materials, IoT sensors for precision agriculture, apps helping to locate the nearest recycling bins, and other hi-tech solutions are the result of efforts made by GreenTech companies. Probably, it's less easy to imagine that blockchain and gamification can be used to save the environment too. Nonetheless, there's a number of companies that incorporate these two into their GreenTech solutions.
How Blockchain and Gamification Can Help Environment
Gamification means integrating game elements and mechanics, such as leaderboards, rewards, and challenges, into non-game contexts to engage and motivate users to achieve specific objectives. Gamification leverages people's natural inclination for play and competition to encourage desired behaviours and enhance engagement. For instance, if you've ever tried learning a language via Duolingo, you've experienced gamification.
Gamification is a powerful tool to turn mundane and forgettable tasks into an exciting activity that you want to return to. It's actively used in designing digital products helping people to change behaviours – to quit smoking, reduce the amount of alcohol consumption or become a devoted runner. Gamification can work the same in terms of promoting eco-friendly habits among humans.
Blockchain adds to gamification transparency and allows transactions, not necessarily involving cryptocurrencies. Remember NFTs, or non-fungible tokens? In the context of blockchain and web3, a token refers to a digital asset that represents ownership or access rights to a particular asset or service. Thus, tokens can be used as a reward in a gaming process.
Also, since blockchain makes every transaction transparent, this technology helps to establish trust between all stakeholders involved. It includes GreenTech companies themselves, consumers, governments, etc.
GreenTech Startups Using Gamification and Blockchain
In GreenTech, gamification is most commonly used to engage people in actions, beneficial for the environment, and blockchain is usually used to reward these actions. There are Web3 games, powered by blockchain, that educate people on environmental topics and promote an eco-friendly lifestyle. Or you can make an app that gives users a token for each saved kilowatt of electricity and these tokens can be used, for instance, to pay for central heating later.
Let’s look at few examples of GreenTech startups and tech initiatives, utilising gamification and blockchain:
Nunu Spirits is a game which is not only fun but also helps to grow trees. Within the game’s world, players collect and earn NFTs that later turn into trees planted in the real world. All the data about the trees planted with your in-game actions, including their actual location, is recorded in blockchain and can be accessed anytime.
Meta Carbon is a SaaS platform helping big companies to promote sustainable behaviors among their customers through education, gamification, and NFTs. Meta Carbon’s API lets brands, for instance, give consumers badges for eco-friendly lifestyle choices or offset carbon emissions right at the checkout in the case of e-commerce.
Plastic Bank is a platform that uses gamification and blockchain to combat ocean plastic pollution while alleviating poverty primarily in developing countries. It establishes recycling markets, providing incentives for individuals to collect plastic waste and exchange it for digital tokens through blockchain technology. The tokens earned can be used to purchase necessities, education, and healthcare.
Binpong is an app that, in partnership with brands and retailers, promotes recycling through gamification and blockchain. Consumers are rewarded tokens by Binpong, when they bring packaging, such as plastic bottles, for recycling. Later tokens can be exchanged for gift cards, discounts, etc. Blockchain is also used to verify the recycling efforts of the Bimpong app.
Current ecological challenges faced by humanity are in many ways caused by technological progress. However, the outcome of tech advancements is often the result of our decisions on how to use them. Time has proved again and again that it’s in our power to utilise technology for positive changes. Game design principles and blockchain can help us to overcome various environmental issues, such as deforestation, pollution, waste accumulation, and excess carbon emissions.