In late 1986, Satish Kumar, Diana Schumacher and other members of the Council of the Schumacher Society felt the time was right to launch a book publishing company that would help to spread Green ideas and practices. A limited company was set up, and an appeal for funds made to the readers of Resurgence magazine, the pioneering ecological and spiritual magazine edited by Satish.
The initial finance was raised, and the company’s offices were established in a converted barn next to the house in which Satish and his family live, in the small village of Hartland in north Devon. At the time the Schumacher Society was also run from the offices; the close relationship between Resurgence, Green Books and the Schumacher Society has continued ever since.
In 1992 it was decided to move the company to Dartington, near Totnes, in order to take advantage of the better communications in south Devon, and to be closer to the many activities on the Dartington estate, in particular Schumacher College, an international centre for ecological study.
We keep in touch with our wide network of friends and contacts, including our authors, fellow Green publishers, booksellers, other Green organisations, and individuals who are thinking and working along the same lines as ourselves.
Working with other organisations
We are in touch with many like-minded organisations, and have co-published books with (amongst others): Resurgence, The Schumacher Society, Common Ground, The Ecology Building Society, The Gaia Foundation, The Gaia Trust, The International Society for Ecology and Culture, The New Economics Foundation, The Right Livelihood Awards Foundation, WWF International, and the European Centre for Ecological and Agricultural Tourism (ECEAT).
We want our books to reach many kinds of people – not only those who are already convinced that we need to change our ways of thinking and living, but also those who are looking for new ideas, approaches and information about how to live a more ecological lifestyle. In order to reach a wide variety of people, we sell through many channels, including conventional bookshops, Green outlets (such as the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales), and by direct mail. We also display our books at conferences and festivals, where practicable.
The Schumacher Circle
Green Books was one of the members of The Schumacher Circle, an informal network set up in 1994 to bring together a number of organisations which owe their existence to, or have been greatly inspired by, the work of E.F. Schumacher. The other members are The Soil Association, Practical Action (formerly Intermediate Technology), Jeevika Trust UK (formerly the India Development Group), The Centre for Alternative Technology, The New Economics Foundation, Schumacher College, The Schumacher Society and Resurgence magazine.