What does the idiom "be green" mean?

The expression be green is one of the idioms that often finds a place in our literature and enriches our language. However, its meaning is not fully understood, so it is sometimes used in the wrong situations. Please review the explanation carefully for the correct use of the be green idiom.

Meaning of "be green"


The phrase ‘be green’ is an idiom with a figurative meaning. It is used as an expression to encourage environmental awareness and action. To ‘be green’ means to act in an environmentally conscious and responsible way by reducing waste and conserving natural resources. It also includes taking steps towards creating a sustainable, green environment, such as investing in renewable energy sources, reducing carbon emissions, and more. The phrase can also be used more generally to refer to anything health-related and beneficial for the environment.


The phrase ‘be green’ has its roots in the environmental movement of the late 1960s, which was popularly known as the ‘Green Revolution’. The Green Revolution was a period of time when growing concern and awareness of the environmental damage caused by industrial activities, pollution and waste began to spread throughout the world. During the Green Revolution, many people began advocating for the conservation of natural resources and the promotion of sustainable practices. This is when the phrase ‘be green’ was first coined and popularized.


The phrase ‘be green’ can be used to refer to any individual or group that is committed to promoting a deeper level of environmental awareness and taking action to support the green movement. It can also be used figuratively in a wider context. For instance, it can be used to refer to anything that is beneficial to the environment, such as the use of green energy sources, organic and locally-sourced food, and renewable resources.

Example Sentences

  • Let’s do our part and be green by investing in renewable energy sources!
  • If we want to reduce our carbon footprint, we must all work together to be green.
  • The company has implemented a number of initiatives in order to be green and reduce waste.
  • It is important to do our part and be green by choosing sustainable alternatives to everyday items.

The meanings of the words in the "be green" idiom

The Surprising Origins of Everyday English Idioms

Many English idioms have surprisingly dark origins, often rooted in violence, death, and superstition. For instance, the phrase "raining cats and dogs" is said to have originated in the 17th century, when heavy rain would often cause dead animals to wash up on the streets. Meanwhile, the idiom "rule of thumb" is believed to have originated from a law that allowed men to beat their wives with a stick no thicker than their thumb.


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