The term ‘green’ is a buzzterm which has arisen from the green movement. The term itself makes sense as the majority of our environment is green in color, from plant life that’s negatively effected by human interference. The furthest back I could trace the term ‘green’ is to green politics, which is political decision making with the environment in mind.
The Oxford English Dictionary cites a 1978 article in the magazine The Economist as the first use of the word “green” in an environmental sense in English. It was used to refer to members of the German Green Party. The verb “to green” as in, to make more environmentally friendly, first appeared in 1985
Note: I’ve provided a link to the OED but unfortunately it’s subscription only.
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