PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 April, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 30 April, 2008, 12:00am

An eye on the ingredients

Some people spend thousands of dollars on skincare products every month without knowing what the ingredients are. Because these products are expensive, they think they are of good quality.

In fact, almost all skincare products including lotions and cosmetics are made of petroleum and chemicals like alcohol or essences that may irritate skin.

Individuals with allergies can, and do, have a reaction when they use these cosmetics. As such, it is important to understand more about them.

Skincare products which are natural and of good quality should have a pleasant smell. They are better for the skin if they are made of natural materials, such as oils refined from plants.

Advertising is another problem Consumers are easy misled about make-up products.

The government should be monitor the content of these adverts, as most of exaggerate the qualities of their products.

Next time you're shopping for skincare products, keep an eye on the ingredients.

Eva Ng , Methodist College

Making sweet musical

My school staged the musical The Sound of Music recently. Everyone said the show was a success and we received a lot of compliments.

When we first found out about the musical we didn't really want to do it because it meant giving up free time to do the rehearsals. We had to learn drama, singing and dancing.

I didn't even have time to chat to my friends but I fell in love with the musical and I was sad that I had not worked harder at my role.

I want to thank our teachers and our principal who guided us through the production.

Mr Au and Ms Ip, in particular, were always there to calm me down when I was nervous.

I loved getting involved with this musical and I will never forget taking part.

Chan Mei-hei, SKH Li Fook Hing Secondary School

Unlimited needs, limited resources

Rubbish is not just an issue in Hong Kong it affects people all over the world.

Hong Kong produces 6.4 million tonnes of rubbish every year. The landfills will soon be full.

Other rubbish is dumped in the ocean to allow land to be reclaimed. This causes water levels to rise and Victoria Harbour to become smaller and more polluted.

Humans have unlimited needs but limited resources. People keep on producing rubbish such as plastic bags, packaging and plastic foam.

High wages mean people have more money and they spend part of it on rubbish. Supermarkets like Wellcome and ParknShop give away tonnes of plastic bags that end up in landfills.

Just buying someone a gift generates a lot of rubbish - the bag, the box, the wrapping paper, the ribbon.

Is it really necessary?

Ashfaq Khan, California school

Counting our blessings

Everyone loves to travel. But some people like to go to third world countries, where the people live poor, starving and homeless lives.

These poor people want to change their lives but conditions in their countries can be so extreme that they don't have a chance.

So, why do people want to travel there?

I think I know why. After you've been to such a place you learn to treasure the things you have. You know you can eat what you want to and you can study at school.

We should all count our blessings.

Tracy Chu, Hang Seng School of Commerce

No repeat performance

People in Hong Kong are among the busiest in the world so it comes as no surprise that parents here don't spend enough time with their children. Parents work late and often don't get home until their children have gone to sleep.

Childhood is a precious time and nothing can replace it so it is sad to hear of children feeling lonely.

According to some psychological reports, children whose parents are present more often develop a stronger sense of trust when they grow up.

In contrast, the children of absent parents are more vulnerable.

I know parents have to work hard in order to maintain a good standard of living, but caring for children is just as important. Childhood doesn't last for ever, so we should treasure it while we can.

Christine Lam Wan-yi, STFA Cheng Yu Tung Secondary School

Selfish use of public transport

When I am travelling on the bus or the MTR, I often see people putting their bags on the seats next to them.

This prevents others, including elderly people and pregnant women, from having a seat.

I don't know why these people are so selfish. Don't they realise that their actions cause inconvenience to others?

Don't they care?

Chanpreet Kaur, California School

Bullies can do real, lasting damage

Bullying is one of the most serious problems at school.

When a child is bullied the damage they receive is not just physical but also psychological.

The victims can lose all their self-confidence and esteem. They can even contemplate suicide in the worst cases.

Their wounds may heal, but they will still have the mental scars of their ordeal.

Lo Tsz-ying, STFA Cheng Yu Tung Secondary School