The word green comes from the Old English word grēne, or, in its older form, grœni. This adjective is closely related to the Old English verb grōwan (“to grow, turn green”), which in its wonted usage referred primarily to plants, and goes back into Western Germanic and Scandinavian languages. Cognates in other languages include West Frisian grien, Dutch groen, German grün, and Danish grøn. The first recorded use of green as a color name in English was in 700.
Many Asian languages have no word distinguishing blue from green, although recently published dictionaries do make the distinction. The Thai word เขียว besides meaning “green” also means “rank” and “smelly” and holds other unpleasant associations. In Japanese, despite the existence of a word in the modern language meaning “green”, the color is sometimes described as blue (青 Ao), as in blue traffic light (青信号 Ao shingō) and blue leaves (青葉 Aoba), reflecting the absence of a word meaning “green” in old Japanese.
In Persian, the word for green is سبز sabz, but this word can also mean “black” or “dark”. In Persian erotic poetry, dark-skinned women are addressed as “green,” as in phrases like سبز گندم گون sabz-gandom-gun (literally “green wheat colored”) or سبز مليح sabz-malih (“a green beauty”). Similarly, in Sudanese Arabic, dark-skinned people are described as أخضر akhḍar ‘green’, instead of black.
The association of the green color to sustainable solutions is natural as the etymology suggests.