We report synthesis of the functional ZnO nanostructures (nanowires, nanorods) by a cost-effective and efficient method; called composite-hydroxide-mediated (CHM) approach. Effect of the processing temperature on the particle size, morphology, and subsequently morphological dependent optical emissions is investigated. Needle-shaped nanowires are obtained at 200 and 220 o C, of about (500-1500) nm in length, while at 250 o C; nanorods are formed with length in the range of (200-460) nm and width (10-30) nm. Optical study reveals that ZnO nanorods show only ultra-violet (UV) emission while bent nanowires demonstrate both UV and green emissions simultaneously. The week green emission at 2.4 eV indicates no efficient trapping of the photo-generated hole in the nanostructures. Phase purity, crystalline structure, size and chemical nature of the product are probed by XRD, EDX, Raman spectroscopy and FT-IR. The particle size estimated from the spatial correlation phonon confinement model for the E2 (high) phonon mode. The applied approach is believed to be efficient, and a direct route for the synthesis of a wide range of simple and complex oxide nanostructures for novel electro-optical nanodevices.