Contact About Media Ask William Education Home

Education > Greenology > Green Definitions


Green Definitions

July 9 , 2008

What does green mean?    We hear it used as an adjective, noun, and verb.   "Green" has become ubiquitous and amorphous, representing everything from hip new trends to old timey methods.   For the sake of clarity and most importantly to stress the inextricable bond between gardening and environmental greening, below are few definitions.


  • The color between blue and yellow on the spectrum
  • Light with wavelengths of about 510nm
  • Objects that reflect light wavelengths between 490-570nm, like plants, turtles, and emeralds


  • Slang for American money
  • Ideas, efforts, or projects that save money
  • New techniques and products combined with traditional jobs to create new jobs and services that reduce, reuse, and recycle.   For example, green-collar jobs are basically blue-collar jobs that use fewer resources, reduce waste, and promote environmental stewardship, like installing solar panels or manufacturing hybrid cars


  • Progressive political party with a focus on environmental issues
  • A member of the Green party


  • Inexperienced, gullible, or naïve
  • Young or youthful
  • Pale, unhealthy hue typically from illness
  • Jealous or envious


  • In golf an area of highly manicured grass (like creeping bentgrass) around the holes
  • A park or public lawn located in towns and cities; synonymous with commons


  • Immature or unripe produce
  • Edible leaves and stems of several leafy herbs
  • Branches and leaves use in floral arrangements


  • To reduce, reuse, and recycle.   The practice of conserving resources and limiting waste materials/emissions.   For instance, taking public transportation to reduce emissions and congestion, making your own compost, and shopping in local stores for local products thereby reducing resources needed for transport
  • To create gardens, parks, and/or wildlife habitat on formerly degraded land
  • To use horticultural methods that do not create toxic chemicals or degrade the environment
  • To remediate damaged or polluted sites
  • To promote or invest in new technology that reduces, reuses, and recycles
  • To support green movements and environmental organizations, like National Garden Association, US Green Building Council, and National Resource Defense Council.
  • Good and godly, alive and just

Okay, I took a few liberties on the last one.   The point is that green signals a love and respect for the natural environment.   Gardeners, farmers included, are the original greenies.   Many others seek to co-opt and associate with the spirit of green simply by meeting one or two of the definitions.   For example, a factory that dumps toxic chemicals into a lake used for drinking water and recreation might claim to be green because it has a recycling program for plastic bottles.   As the original prognosticators of the green message, gardeners be viligant.   Ask questions and support those who meet your standards for green.



Pesticide-free tomatoes at the Evanston Farmer's Market

  2008, Last Updated July 9, 2008