Kids create giant postcard on Swiss glacier

The mosaic of laminated postcards forms one giant message about climate change. Céline Stegmüller/

Thousands of young people from around the world have seized the chance to speak out about climate change and set a world record for the biggest postcard of all time.

This content was published on November 16, 2018 minutes
Céline Stegmüller and Susan Misicka

With support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)External link, more than 125,000 children contributed handmade postcards for Friday’s event in the Swiss Alps. Of these, 50,000 came from southern Africa and 20,000 from India.

The cards were reproduced and laminated into one giant postcard in Interlaken, and two Swiss school classes helped set it up over the Aletsch glacier – the largest and longest in the Alps.

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“Disappearing glaciers are a sight that can be observed all over the world and Switzerland, with its many glaciers, is particularly affected,” notes a statement from the Federal Department of Foreign AffairsExternal link.

According to the SDC, the main goal is to support the international Youth Climate Movement. Each postcard represents a pledge from the sender to help improve the world’s climate and limit global warming – for example by planting trees or conserving water.

The postcards came from children all over the world. Céline Stegmüller/

“What drives us to participate today is the feeling and the certainty that we are the last generation to be able to act to save the planet,” Océane Dayer, founder and president of Swiss Youth for ClimateExternal link, said on Friday. “Nobody is too small to act. I would like today to make a solemn promise that we will do everything possible to guarantee a better climate for future generations.”

Reminding those gathered that there is no Planet B, the SDC’s Thomas Gass said, “Either we all make it or we don’t. We have to work together; it’s an interconnected world.”

The postcard idea originally came from the Lucerne-based World Advanced Vehicle Expedition (WAVE)External link. In 2016, Solartaxi driver Louis Palmer coordinated the first successful attempt to compose the world’s largest postcard during COP22 in Marrakech. It featured a mosaic of 50,000 attached postcards and set a Guinness World Record then.

Regarding any potential environmental damage caused by the action, SDC has tracked the CO2 emissions caused by transporting and preparing the cards and plans to offset them through myclimateExternal link compensation projects.

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