Part 2: Institute Ecoterm Modular and Earth Natives – A #Cardano4Good #NFT4Good Project

Sustainable ADA   |   May 20, 2022

The word INNOVATION nowadays only has value when it manages to significantly minimize the social and environmental impact with quality, intelligence and technology. From this principle, Ecoterm®️ was born. Years of multidisciplinary research have resulted in a unique and sustainable production technique, which in addition to recycling, minimizes water consumption and eliminates burning modules in blast furnaces. Join us, join our community on Instagram: @ ecoterm.modula

For the second part of our 2-part series on Earth Natives, Sustainable ADA was joined by Kristy, Co-founder of Earth Natives, to talk about Earth, Sustainability and Cardano.

How would you define ‘nft4good’ and ‘cardano4good?

It is a movement to promote using the blockchain in a way that gives back and helps others including people, animals and the environment.

Do you think your project lives up to your definition of nft4good?

Most certainly. Our project encompasses helping people and the environment while trying to teach others how they too can make this difference.

Talk to us about your team and how you came together for such a project?

Our team is made up of 5 members spilt between Australia and Brazil, however all of us are friends and some even family!

Thiago, my husband, is the CEO of Institute Ecoterm Modular and the co-founder and project manager of Earth Natives. Thiago wanted a way to showcase the technology of building with the interlocking compressed earth bricks which are where the idea for Earth Natives stemmed from.

I’m Kristy, the other co-founder of Earth Natives. I have a communications background and experience of sustainable building through the many years I have been with Thiago. I also created the story behind Earth Natives and in charge of all social media outlets and communications.

Montanaro is our artist and well-known in Brazil for his cartoon strips and illustrations. He has been drawing professionally since the age of 12 and we first met him many years ago when Thiago’s sister interviewed him for her film company. From the very beginning, we knew we wanted Montanaro and he happily jumped on board.

Rafael is our art director and has been best friends with Thiago since they were kids. He has worked for one of the top advertising agency’s in Brazil for more than 10 years. Then there is Keith, our developer. He is also a stakepool operator of Power Stakepool. We actually meet Keith at the Perth Cardano Summit which is where we got talking about the project.

And finally there is our building team which is led by Kati, who is an engineer and owner of Metta, an ecological brick factory that is a part of Institute Ecoterm.

All of us are inspired to make a change, better our environment, and have fun while we are at it 🙂

Did you consider using other blockchains?

We were looking for sustainable blockchains and narrowed it down to Algorand and Cardano however in the end chose Cardano because of its robust technology and its culture that is dedicated to making a positive change in the world.

How did you choose the recipient of the gifted home?

As our organisation is already established in Brazil with 10 small factories around the country, we asked each of them to reach out to their local communities and bring forward recommendations of families that were known to be in dire need of help. From these recommendations, Trinidade’s family stood out.

“Being able to use the Cardano blockchain to help those in need and doing it while looking after our environment is such a honour. Meet Trinidade, the mother of the family who the Earth Natives NFT holders are building and donating the ecological house for.” – Earth Natives

The depth of your research into the NFTs (minerals research, numbers for the golden ratio) talk to us about that, your thinking, and your process?

“To showcase the complexity of earth we created the mineral collection that is seen on our NFTs and in the metadata. To get the data required for the minerals we had to work together with geologists and engineers over a 2 month period. The database contains 3333 names of minerals which include their Mohs scale and formula.” – Earth Natives

This data is open-sourced and can be used as building blocks by future developers, for example, a creation of rocks on-chain, based on the combination of different minerals. On top of this, there is a visual representation of the mineral in every single NFT. They are all uniquely displayed in the same size and in a hexagonal shape on the chest of the characters.

The whole idea of our project is based around the minerals, so we had to design the artwork around them as we knew that using just a picture of a mineral would not be as attractive or of interest to a wider range of people. We have then included them in our lore to share more knowledge about them and their hidden secrets. The combination of the artwork with the metadata is how we thought to educate people while providing them with something they would be willing to buy.

How did Cardano and NFT4good innovations help your team realise your project so far?

Cardano offered the platform for us to build with transparency and resilience while providing a way to fund the project. We are also looking forward to integrating Cardano blockchain more into our organization’s business model.

Why did you choose these methods and how do you think they compared to traditional and alternative methods of raising funds for charitable acts?

With the NFTs you tap into an international market, where people pretty much all around the world have the chance to participate and support our project. It is more efficient, faster, and broader reaching and people are aware of what they are buying when donating – you essentially are buying a piece of art that you like and in return helping to build a house.

Tell us more about the sustainable brick technology, the factories and your plans to help with the awareness-raising and knowledge sharing of this sustainable technology and approach to construction via an international network.

Soil-cement bricks represent an alternative fully in line with sustainable development guidelines. They require low energy consumption in the extraction of raw materials, they do not generate any type of pollution or waste in their production process, they dispense with the need for burning which generates great energy savings and also minimizes deforestation as 6 to 9 trees per thousand bricks are preserved. Moreover, in the execution of the work, the need to cut the walls for electrical and hydraulic passages is eliminated, which generates a substantial decrease in the volume of debris generated and still reduces the consumption of settlement and leveling mortars.

Institute Ecoterm originally started off as an ecological brick factory and became an Institute through their experience of finding the knowledge surrounding the technology lacking. The partnerships with universities and creation of a peer review study on the bricks was a great support and today Institute Ecoterm has 10 brick factories based around Brazil.

The role of the Institute besides raising awareness and sharing knowledge, is to curate the space, offering to factories and to builders, educational materials and courses as well as quality standard certification. The blockchain will allow us to operate internationally and issue certification throughout the use of non fungible tokens. – Earth Natives

Are there plans to collaborate with anyone in the Cardano ecosystem?

“We are constantly collaborating with projects in the space but there is a very important collaboration coming and soon we will be able to announce it.” – Earth Natives

What do you see as challenges in your landscape and context (Government, perceptions, industry – cement/brick/construction, and how your solution fits in the context of climate change, housing shortages, government failure) ?

Our organization believes that earth is the best resource to be used as a building material and our aim is to help reduce the housing deficit using this sustainable solution.

Some of the challenges include it being a small industry and as it is a new technology some people may be hesitant to use it or invest in it. Also although the compressed earth bricks utilize cement to stabilize the dirt (some may automatically think “unsustainable”) but the amount is significantly small and by using the interlocking bricks you eliminate the use of cement and sand as a mortar between the courses of brick.

Our solution fits in the context of climate change as it is resourceful, reduces waste, and recycles. It also provides jobs as everything is done locally and onsite while building safe and high-quality housing. – Earth Natives

Here at Sustainable ADA we are huge fans of the art and story, how did that come about, and are there any plans for a printed graphic novel?

We are biased to talk about the art as we are long term fans of the artist. Montanaro has a very unique art style and the simplicity and complexity in his art combines in a very intriguing way. We suggest you visit to learn more about him. In terms of his artwork for us, we explained the four characters we had in mind (Armadalus, Adant, Meerkada and Owlada) and asked that he include the mineral on their chests, aside from this Montanaro had creative freedom.

The story came about as a way to introduce the topic of climate change and the benefits of living surrounded by earth. We specifically chose the four characters based on animals that were known to use the earth for shelter. And as previously mentioned, the lore was also a way to make the minerals more exciting and interesting.

We will be releasing a graphic novel together with a poster in A3 format which will also include a MP3 audio file of the audio book. – Earth Natives

Who owns the rights, physical or intellectual, of the NFT and its contents?

The owner of the NFT has full rights of the artwork and music for as long as he holds it.

What about royalties? Are there any?

We collect 2% of the resale price, this is below industry standard and is used to support our development team.

How does this work with NFTs as opposed to the traditional market for creatives? Do you see any advantages with NFTs for this?

The ownership of the art and the facility of trading it make this space very interesting and promising.

Does your NFT have utility?

Please see the below list of the current utility. We will always be adding to this as more options become possible.


The NFTs are helping us to build and donate a sustainable house in Brazil to a deserving family. They come with great artwork, designed by well-known artist João Montanaro and a sound track from Paulo Jales.


The footage will provide holders with the opportunity to follow the building journey and learn about compressed earth interlocking bricks. It will also help create awareness for the Cardano blockchain.


Holders will be able to mint an A3 poster in PNG format which will include all 4 of the Earth Natives collection characters in action. Within the same asset will be a PDF of the story of the Earth Natives written by Kristy Victoria with community involvement. The story will be illustrated by João Montanaro.


You have complete ownership rights for both the artwork and the music of the NFTs.


The Bunker is a discord channel for holders only for governance, chat, exclusive giveaways, extra sneak peeks and more. When we are provided with whitelist spots for other projects, it is in this channel that we give them away.


1 NFT = 1 vote, voting on proposals will help decide the paths we take and the future of the project in a way that empowers the community.


There will be random drops for holders, rewards for engagement, promotions, competitions and special occasions, collaborations and partnerships.


We will offer free consults in building with earth and compressed interlocking bricks production.


We will continue to support our artist by promoting his artwork on Cardano and holders will be able to take part in auctions of our artist’s previous personal 1/1 pieces, which will take place in the bunker channel.

Utilities in development:

* Terra Stakepool

* Merchandise

What are your thoughts on the future of this space?

The space has a lot to grow and mature, and we are very excited to have been here pretty much since the beginning and been able to see already how far we have made it in the vast amount of opportunities that are available to grow knowledge, network, and health.Earth Natives

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