Sustainability & Social Responsibility
When 3,700 people gather together we create a lot of waste (even with our reusable or biodegradable utensils, dishes, cups and ban on single use plastics). Together with your help and the incredible work of our Sustainability Team – tirelessly collecting and sorting all of our waste throughout the festival – in 2019 we managed to divert 76.9% of our waste from landfill. It wasn’t perfect, but we’re pretty proud of this start.
Total weight collected: 3,170 kg
Total weight diverted from landfill: 2,437 kg
Recycling collected and diverted from landfill:
Aluminium: 140 kg of cans diverted
Hard Plastics: 53 kg diverted
Cardboard: 94.25 kg
Glass: 1,189 kg diverted from landfills
Organics: (960.85 kg collected) 597.5 kg diverted
For a more detailed report:
In 2019, thanks to the support of Elephant Poo Poo Paper, we also printed our posters on paper made from recycled elephant poop and other organic bi-products, such as rice husks.
Giving back to the community is at the heart of Jai Thep; Forru Cmu is one of several worthy causes we’ve chosen to support in 2019.
The Forest Restoration & Research Unit (FORRU) is a small team of passionate ecologists and research students at Chiang Mai University, who are leading the way in tropical forest restoration and regeneration.
Working with local villagers, including ethnic hill tribe minorities, FORRU has successfully managed the restoration of huge sections of previously degraded land within the national park, which had been badly affected by human activity. Their outreach and education programs teach locals and visiting school groups, like the one we saw today, about the importance of conserving the valuable natural resources around them, of maintaining biodiversity and the roles the forests play in carbon storage. The research data produced at Chiang Mai University through FORRU is not only helping tropical forest regeneration efforts in Thailand and other countries, but also empowering a whole new generation of Thai ecologists who are fighting for their country’s environment. FORRU does amazing work.
Where the money is going:
As Chiang Mai is in the middle of the dry ‘smokey season’ right now – where agricultural land is burned to clear the way for new growth – the risk of accidental forest fires is increasing. Stray embers or unattended burnings from farm land can easily get out of control, as they have in previous years, causing fires within existing and newly regenerated forests. As well as destroying the forest and the animals within them, extra fires also contribute to the dangerous air quality we’re currently experiencing in northern Thailand. With all that in mind, we’re incredibly proud to be supporting FORRU’s fire patrols – funding the local villagers who have been hired to protect the forest plot system in the upper Mae Sa valley from fire and respond to fires before they get out of control.
More info on FORRU can be found at http://www.forru.org/th/intro.php and if you’re in Chiang Mai, you can keep an eye open for their volunteer days if you’d like to help out!
Jai Thep is proud to announce our support of another charity, Warm Heart Foundation (มูลนิธิอุ่นใจ), which has been doing amazing work here since 2008.
About Warm Heart:
The four founders’ aim is to reduce rural poverty, but what makes them different is how they go about it. They start by listening to the people in their village. Asking what problems they face, what they would change if they could, and even what they would spend the money on if they won the lottery.
At the suggestion of the community, Warm Heart so far provides: childrens’ homes where the kids get better grades than the national average; a microenterprise program which helps individuals create sustainable incomes; a sustainable agricultural program which trains farmers in techniques which protect the environment, increase soil fertility and diversify their income sources; a wellness program which provides care for elderly members of the community.
Where the money is going:
Warm Heart have just launched their ‘Stop the Smoke campaign’ 2019, which Jai Thep Festival has contributed to. They aim to regenerate 5000 rai of corn fields and prove to everyone that there is a better way than corn and burning.
They aim to raise 390,000 baht. With this money, Warm Heart will buy back biochar made by these farmers last year, at the price agreed. Then they make a super-fertilizer that out performs the chemical versions. Biochar is a powerful addition to the soil because it holds ten times its weight in water and returning organic matter to the soil replenishes nutrients and increases health for the long term. Together Warm Heart and the farmers will plant forest tree seedlings and inter-plant with coffee and bamboo to provide a future income.
The government is invested in this project but more importantly, if the farmers see a better way to earn more income and provide a better environment and life from their families, they will do it. These techniques require little to no investment to try for the first time, so they are accessible to any farmer and will spread out in the community.
We are very grateful for Warm Heart’s work and contribution to Chiang Mai and the environment. They are finding real solutions and implementing them right here in our locality. And better still, they give everyday people like you and me the opportunity to support it and be part of the solution!
To find our more or support this campaign please go to
Calling NGOs and NPOs! Jai Thep offers free booth spaces to charitable causes during the festival and at all pre-events. Whether your charity is environmental, social or animal based, there will always be a good amount of space saved for you to join us to raise awareness and sell goods benefiting your charity, at no cost to you.