Graphene and its related materials are important areas of research in recent years owing to their unique properties. The wide-range industrial application of graphene-related compounds has led to the development of novel and simple methods for the synthesis of graphene. In this paper, an environmentally friendly green synthesis for the partial reduction of graphene oxide (GO) to reduced GO (RGO) in a cost-effective single-step mechanism was reported. The method completely avoids the use of toxic and environmentally harmful reducing agents commonly used in the chemical reduction of GO to obtain RGO. The reduction of GO was carried out using aqueous leaf extracts of Paederia foetide L. The prepared GO and green RGO were characterized by ultraviolet-visible, Raman and Fourier transform infra-red spectroscopic analysis which showed a clear indication of the partial removal of oxygen-containing groups from the GO and the formation of RGO. The morphology of the green RGO was characterized by transmission electron and scanning electron microscopy. Dynamic light scattering was used for zeta potential measurement and correlated with the morphology of the sheets. Electrical conductivity was also measured to check the extent of reduction of GO to RGO. © 2016 Indian Academy of Sciences.