Sustainability Initiatives at 137 Pillars House Chiang Mai Jarastyle travel

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Sustainability Initiatives at 137 Pillars House Chiang Mai Jarastyle travel

In keeping with their ongoing commitment to environmental sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR), 137 Pillars House Chiang Mai has implemented the following policies and programmes. 

Anne Arrowsmith, the hotel’s General Manager is a strong advocate for these programmes and shared her views.  “We have a duty of care to our community and the wider world; a duty to assume the role of custodians of our local culture, architecture, waterways, forests, animals and environment and ensure that the generations that follow inherit a world that we would recognize and want to live in”.

Local Procurement

Sustainability Initiatives at 137 Pillars House Chiang Mai Jarastyle travel

Locally Sourced Ingredients  

We proudly support local producers by sourcing our food items locally wherever possible.   In our dedication to reducing environmental impact, we have established partnerships with companies that deliver fruit and vegetables in reusable bags or containers, as we staunchly refrain from accepting plastic. Our ethos is to create a positive impact by fostering local economies while actively working to minimize our ecological footprint.  

Handcrafted Treasures from Sop Moei Arts

At the hotel’s boutique in the old house, we take pride in showcasing an exquisite range of high-quality hand-woven textiles and handmade decor items. These treasures are sourced from Sop Moei Arts, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting weavers from the Karen tribe in the Sop Moei district of Mae Hong Son province for the last 40 years. Their mission is to provide a sustainable source of income to the weavers and to preserve traditional craft skills that are rapidly disappearing in the area.  Learn more about Sop Moei Arts: 

Environmental Responsibility

Sustainability Initiatives at 137 Pillars House Chiang Mai Jarastyle travel

Plastic-free Laundry Service

We have partnered with a local laundry service provider which supports the local economy and aligns with our environmental responsibility as we insist on plastic-free practices for all laundry deliverables, ensuring that every step we take is mindful of our impact on the environment.  Laundry wrapped in tissue paper and presented in wicker baskets. 

In-Suite Water in Glass Bottles

In-suite water is supplied in glass bottles, eliminating the need for single-use plastic. This eco-conscious choice not only reduces environmental impact but also reflects our dedication to providing a responsible and more luxurious experience for our guests.  For meetings and events, glass bottles are also used.  Filtered water is used in restaurants and served in glass carafes. 

Sustainable Cooling in Our Suites  
We prioritize energy conservation by maintaining the air conditioning at an eco-friendly 24-25 degrees and the system automatically switches off if doors are left open. This not only enhances our guests’ comfort but also reflects our commitment to sustainable practices. 

Sorting and Recycling

We sort and recycle any plastic where the items are only available in plastic packing (ie milk, yoghurt, some sauces, vinegar, olive oil and ice cream), aluminum, paper and glass, ensuring a sustainable approach to waste management. Our food and beverage to-go items embrace eco-friendliness being presented in woven recyclable containers. 

Biochar Innovation

Embracing innovative sustainability practices, we compost leaves and branches into Biochar—a natural and eco-friendly mosquito repellent utilized throughout Our commitment to environmental responsibility extends beyond waste reduction; fostering a harmonious and green haven for our guests. 

Exploring Chiang Mai’s Temple by Samlor

An environmentally friendly option to explore the beauty of cultural and temples in Chiang Mai is by traditional Samlor or rickshaw. Samlor, once a common mode of transportation in Chiang Mai, has become a charming favorite among tourists. Our ‘137 Pillars House Temple’s by Samlor’ tour offers a zero-carbon-emission travel experience, allowing travelers to immerse themselves in Lanna history and culture with the guidance of a local expert. The attractions covered in this tour include significant local landmarks such as Wat Ket Temple, Warorot Market, the Old Walled City of Chiang Mai, Wat Laam Chang, Wat Chiang Man, Wat Phra Singh, Wat Phra Chao Mengrai, the Chiang Mai Gate market, Wat Chedi Luang, and Wat Phantao. More information, please visit 

Mosquito Control

Our team is dedicated to the management and eradication of mosquitoes through a number of control measures, including the elimination of breeding areas, correct plant selection and rigorous weekly property-wide checks to mitigate opportunities for breeding.  We also work with neighbouring properties to assist them in following similar regimes, thus reducing the use of chemicals to an absolute minimum.

Social Responsibility 

Sustainability Initiatives at 137 Pillars House Chiang Mai Jarastyle travel

Elephant Nature Park Sanctuary

Our partnership with K. Lek (aka The Elephant Whisperer) and her team at Elephant Nature Park (ENP) was launched on World Elephant Day in August 2012 and was created to raise funds and awareness for elephant conservation and reforestation in Chiang Mai; two causes very close to our heart at 137 Pillars House.  As if January 2024 we have raised THB 1,165,155 (approximately USD 34,270) For these worthy causes and are most grateful to those who have supported these causes.  The range of tours and experiences offered by ENP are very popular with our guests. Read our digital handbook here: 

To donate to this worthy cause, please click on

Supporting Wat Don Chan Community

We visit the Temple quarterly and donate 1000 meals each time.  Our ongoing donations to the Don Chan Temple reflect our commitment to corporate social responsibility and our dedication to making a positive impact in the communities we serve. Through contributions such as towels, bedding, and providing meals for over 700 orphans every quarter, we aim to create a brighter future for those in need. In addition to addressing basic needs, the temple also operates a school to provide education to these children, ensuring that the disadvantages they may have encountered do not hinder their future prospects.  Learn more about Don Chan Temple:

The Foundation for the Education of Rural Children

137 Pillars House is proud to collaborate with The Foundation for the Education of Rural Children (FERC), channeling our efforts to raise funds for students from low-income families. Through special events hosted in our unique venues, we create opportunities for these students, ensuring they have the means to pursue further education or training. Our commitment extends beyond providing exceptional hospitality; investing in the future and fostering access to education for those who need it most. Together, we strive to make a lasting impact on the lives of these students, empowering them with the tools they need to build a brighter future.  Learn more about The Foundation for the Education of Rural Children: 

Raising Funds for the School for the Blind

In keeping with our commitment to give back and creating a positive impact in our community in December 2023, we hosted ‘A Heartwarming Charity Movie Night’;  a special event designed to bring joy and purpose to our guests and to contribute to a noble cause. All proceeds from ticket sales and generous donations directly supported the local School for the Blind. Our primary focus is on providing tablets for students with residual vision, empowering them with tools that enhance their learning experience 

Contributing to Wat Ket Temple

Preserving local culture holds deep meaning for us. Wat Ket Temple, an ancient local temple in our area, proudly exhibits ancient Lanna items in its museum, serving as an educational resource for generations to come. We actively contribute funds to Wat Ket for the restoration and ongoing maintenance of the temple’s museum. In addition, we are committed to preserving the cultural heritage by initiating cleaning efforts, ensuring the temple’s legacy remains vibrant for future generations. 

Unveiling 137 Pillars House Museum

Safeguarding the rich tapestry of cultural heritage is paramount to us. We opened a museum nestled amongst the 137 pillars of our historic teak homestead in December 2023, inviting guests to explore the fascinating history of teak, teak wallahs, and the Borneo Company, dating back over 100 years. The teak tree’s significance in shipbuilding and railways drove a historical shift to northern Siam for its prized resource, managed primarily by the British Borneo Company Limited (BCL). Teak-wallahs, European overseers with diverse backgrounds, led isolated lives in the forest camps, dedicating years to harvesting teak, shaping the region’s ecology and forming personal connections with the locals. BCL’s expansion diversified its trade while maintaining a pivotal role in the teak industry. Figures like Louis T. Leonowens, C.B. Ainslie, David Fleming Macfie, and William Bain contributed significantly to BCL’s presence in Chiang Mai, leaving enduring imprints through their roles, business endeavors, and personal lives. Their stories reflect a complex blend of commerce, culture, and personal sacrifices in the pursuit of teak, leaving a lasting legacy in the region’s history.


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