Zeleny Svit was founded by a group of Kyiv writers and artists in December 1987 and established as a national organisation at its first Congress in October 1989. The organization has published the newspaper Zeleny Svit since 1990, and joined forces with Friends of the Earth International in 1991 as an associate member. The by-laws of ZS were registered with the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice in December 1992.

The main principles of ZS are incorporated in its motto Surviving