Origin of the word green
AD 700 – 1970
According to Entomology Online dictionary, the word green comes from Old English word grene which is similar to German word grün which has same origin
as the word grass and to grow. This first recorded use of word as a color term in Old English to ca AD 700.
In the past, as most of object was made from wood, fresh cut lumber and timber had to be cured form the “green” stage before they could be used due to
shrinkage and warping. So, ‘green’ wood was left out to dry until it was suitable for use.
Some fruits and vegetables are green when they are not yet ready to be eaten and change color as they mature or ripen. So, someone who is ‘green’ is fresh,
new, inexperienced or not yet mature and ready to be ‘useful’ on the job.
Therefore between c.1200-16,c, the term likely to be associated with the lumber industry and farming ; “From c. 1200 as “covered with grass or foliage.”, mid13c. in reference to the skin or complexion of one sick. Early 14c. of fruit or vegetables, “unripe, immature;” and of persons, “of tender age, youthful,
immature, inexperienced;” Specific sense “piece of grassland in a village belonging to the community” is by late 15c. “Gullible, immature with regard to
judgment” (c. 1600).
Greenroom (also green room) “room for actors when not on stage” is from 1701; presumably a once-well-known one was painted green.
Green light in figurative sense of “permission” is from 1937 (green and red as signals on railways first attested 1883, as nighttime substitutes for semaphore
The color of environmentalism since 1971.”
Modern Day “Green”
Most heard term as “Going green” is used to describe the “pursue of knowledge and practices that can lead to more environmentally friendly and ecologically
responsible decisions and lifestyles, which can help protect the environment and sustain its natural resources for current and future generations.” ()
However on XXX mentions that “Going green” can be used by some companies as a PR campaign to hide other not-so-earth-friendly practices. They may look
at their supply chain and make a few small changes while not looking at the bigger picture.
For example, a clothing company might create a sustainable line of clothing, while neglecting the fact that by being a clothing company in today’s world of
fast fashion, they are inherently causing damage to the earth by being a consumption-based company.
Green Design and its Movement
Green design is the designing of products to have a reduced environmental impact throughout its life.
Green design is a subset of sustainable design. Green design focuses on the use of recycled materials, renewable energies and reduced waste of energy and
Around the world, designers and built environment professionals are investigating sustainable alternatives for design and construction, and sustainability
values are now central to global design practice.
Green Design has come a long way over the past five decades. In the mid-20th century, booming post-war economies and a strong global manufacturing
industry gave way to unprecedented levels of consumerism, which prioritized the idea of more – more possessions, more buildings, more cities – over
concerns for the environment.
For decades, development and production continued unchecked, and climate change, rising sea levels, and shrinking resource pools were little more than
distant specks on the horizon.
Green Design is no longer a choice: it’s a necessity. And all this can be traced back to 1972, when a group of industry leaders got together and decided that it
was time for change.
1960s: Eye opened for to environmental safety and danger
In 1960s, world’s populations were not concern about safety issues for instance, consuming on pesticide DDT in vegetable, lead of the paint and asbestos
siding on the houses. These examples of environmental health and dangers concerns are unaware until the publication of high-profile book.
Written by Rachel Carson’s, Silent Spring, published in 1962, explained the effects of pesticide pollution. This is said to be the beginning of environmental
movement for United States. The books appear to be New York Times best seller list. The author, who is popularize the interconnectedness of environmental,
economic, and social well-being, argued that spraying pesticide was harmful to humans as well as wildlife which later led to the ban on DDT in the United
sates in 1972.
Another book, Unsafe at Any Speed written by Ralph Nader’s 1965 carried out similar messages as Silent Spring. The book focused on automobile pollution
and auto industry’s reluctance to improve both which later on the Clean Air Act and the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act were established. Most
of today’s auto pollution, safety features including emission reduction, catalytic converters, seat belts, and air bags are a direct result of these laws.
The 1970s: The Response
1970s is a period when the U.S. government responded. The U.S. government and nongovernmental organizations made a move by introducing legal
protection for the environment and consumers. The 1970s is the contribution of the National Environmental Policy Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and the
Endangered Species Act, as well as the creation of both the EPA and OSHA. The Natural Resources Defense Council was also created and the first Earth Day
Even emerging environmental awareness was on the rise, not many products marketed in a way that today would be considered “green.” However, some
products were beginning to appeal to a small but growing consumer segment that rejected mainstream consumer brands.
The 1960s and 1970s were turbulent decades in the United States, with changing in politics, society, and culture. These times were also when the seeds of
consumer interest in sustainability were first sown. This interest continued to growth over the next 10 years. In fact, many of the best-known green brands of
today can trace their roots back to the 1980s.
Design objectives for green products
Design objectives for green products fall into three categories, materials, energy and pollution/waste.
According to Ecomail, Green product design, also known as design for environment (DfE), design for eco-efficiency or sustainable product design, is a
proactive business approach to addressing environmental considerations in the earliest stages of the product development process in order to minimize
negative environmental impacts throughout the product’s life cycle.
Green product design can encompass material selection, resource use, production requirements and planning for the final disposition (recycling, reuse, or
disposal) of a product.
It is not a stand-alone methodology but one that must be integrated with a company’s existing product design approaches so that environmental parameters
can be balanced with traditional product attributes such as quality, producibility, and functionality.
Green products may be designed to be more easily upgraded, disassembled, recycled, and reused than their conventional counterparts as well as to use
fewer materials and to break down into replaceable modular parts.
Implementing green product design can provide a number of benefits to a company both through focusing on resource efficiencies which, in turn, can reduce
costs and often shorten production time and through bringing diverse functional groups to the design table, thereby driving product and process innovation.
Green product design can also be a first step toward closing the loop on a company’s industrial processes by helping to couple the traditionally antithetical
objectives of continued growth and environmental excellence. For this reason, more and more companies are making green product design a critical element
of their sustainable business agendas.