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Green Thumb
Published February 15, 2021 by Nicole Burke

Why Green Should Be Your Favorite Color

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greens
color green symbolism

What's your favorite color? It's the question you always get asked in any "getting to know you" situation. And let's be honest: sometimes it can be tough to narrow down our favorite hue when given a rainbow of options.

But I've got four reasons "green" should be your answer from this day forward. And three fun Green Challenges to help you fall in love with the color in a whole new way.

green color meaning

Reason #1 Green Should Be Your Favorite Color

Your Eyes Love the Color Green

Studies show that our eyes rest on the color green and see it most clearly—more than any other color in the rainbow. So even if your lips look best in pink and your skin tone favors blue, know that more eyes will be drawn to you if you've got something green on. And when your eyes need a little break, let them rest on something green. We guarantee your eyes will thank you for it by being less tired at the end of the day.

Find a garden coach working near you

Need some help growing your green thumb? A garden coach can help! I've trained hundreds of gardeners around the country (even around the globe!) how to help beginner gardeners find success in the garden. Connect with the garden coach nearest you to learn how to grow in your unique climate.

Green Challenge One

Plate up something green at every meal (chives on your omelet at breakfast, a fresh salad for lunch, a sprig of parsley with dinner), and see if you don't feel happier.

The more I focus on adding at least one thing green to my meals, the more I'm encouraged to grow more green things myself. If you haven't felt very inspired by that slimy spinach in a bag or blah kale from the grocery store, try growing your own. The flavor of garden-fresh produce is unbeatable.

If you ever feel overwhelmed looking at a seed catalog or buying plants at your local nursery, think of the plants you most enjoy tossing onto your plate or mixing up in a smoothie. Prioritize growing those greens.

Why Green Should Be Your Favorite Color

Reason #2 Green Should Be Your Favorite Color

Green Is the Color of Calm

After the past couple of years, we all need to take a deep breath, slow down, and relax—and green is the color that can help make that happen. In fact, studies show that when we look at the color green, our heartbeat slows and our breathing relaxes. It's pretty amazing that just seeing the color green actually has a physiological effect on the human body.

I bought an Apple watch around the same time as Covid began. My watch was constantly beeping at me to remind me to slow down and just breathe for a minute. I found that looking out the window at my thriving garden was the best way to calm down during months of stress, anxiety, and isolation. My watch might as well have sent me little messages when my heart rate accelerated that said: "Hey, Nicole, you need to go look at a plant for a little bit.” 

green watering can

Green Challenge Two

Find something green and give yourself a minute (or two or twenty) of calm each day. Visit a botanical garden or step outside to your own garden. Buy yourself a house plant. Paint an accent wall. Just find something green and allow yourself a moment to breath deeply. Take your eyes off your screen and zen out with a green plant until you feel calm. Make this a daily practice.

different colors in green

Reason #3 Green Should Be Your Favorite Color

Green Makes Everything Else Look Better

The smart scientists say that we humans are "trichromats", meaning we see three main colors: blue, green, and red. And because green is the color right at the center of the color spectrum, it serves as the perfect background to help us see the rest of the world more clearly. So as you look at the color green, you can suddenly see the rest of the colors in a whole new light.

Maybe you've noticed that the reds, purples, pinks, yellows, oranges, and even white of freshly cut flowers show up even more beautiful in contrast to the lovely green of their stems.

All this to say that if you want to like what you're looking at more than you currently do, put something green next to it.

(And now we know why all the fancy magazines put plants right next to all their fancy products. We're thinking it's the product we're loving when our eyes are actually crushing on the plant next to it. Next time you're checking out a new piece of furniture for your home, make sure it's the furniture you love and not the fiddle leaf fig or the ficus audrey next to it because, otherwise, you could probably just buy the plant, It might be a bit cheaper.)

color of green meaning

Green Challenge Three

Set up your home so that you always have something green near the areas where you spend the most time. Add a potted plant on your desk or nightstand. I'm thinking even dirty dishes might look cute if I have a beautiful rosemary plant next to it, right?

Green isn't just a color for master gardeners to enjoy—it's for all of us. And Gardenary believes that everyone has a green thumb and should definitely be surrounded by the most calming and beautiful green possible. Learn how to take your garden to the next level by taking our Green Thumb Quiz.

Reason #4 Green Should Be Your Favorite Color

The Color Green May Help You Live Longer

In a study comparing women who lived among the most green areas in the world and the least green areas, the women who were surrounded by green had a 12% lower death rate than those who had a lot less green in their lives.  

Of course, this is just the result from one study, and I'm sure there were many factors at play. But it makes you think, doesn't it?

If seeing the color green really does make you feel energized and yet calmer, if green makes you perceive everything as more beautiful, it seems to follow that the benefit of being around so much green would add up day by day, leading to a healthier mind, body, and emotions. I know I certainly feel like I can see the world more clearly and find beauty in the ordinary when I'm out in my garden, surrounded by green things.

Why Green Should Be Your Favorite Color

The Color Green Symbolizes Life

Green is the color of life. It's the color of energy. It's the color of growth.

For my second book, I've been researching the many different components that have to work together to power a plant's growth. It all starts with sunlight being turned into food inside of plants. That is where all life comes from—the literally energy from the sun that we see when we look at a green plant.

Green indicates that a plant has gobbled up the sunshine and turned it into food. When we see the color green, we're not just seeing a hue or a prism or some bending of light. We're seeing the magic of energy from the sun being turned into food that feeds those plants that helps us to breathe. We eat the leaves and gain our own energy.

So, I don't care what Pantone says, some shade of green should be the color of the year, every year. Maybe now, you'll see this color and the plants all around you in a new light. I think we could make the world a better place by bringing more green into our everyday lives and sharing that energy with others.

One of the best ways to get more green into your life is by setting up an herb garden, a salad garden, or a kitchen garden. Gardenary has all the resources to help you get growing.

green color meaning
Why Green Should Be Your Favorite Color