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Paris Will Go Car-Free For One Day

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Tackling air pollution in a major metropolitan area can be a tricky endeavor when you're trying to keep things running as smoothly as possible. But Paris—a city that’s been grappling with dangerously poor air quality lately—has decided to address the problem head-on by eradicating the primary source of the problem. For a day anyway.

On Sunday, September 27th, Paris will go car-free from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. While it’s only seven hours, it’s a symbolic move toward a cleaner, more sustainable way of life.

During the car-free day, portions of the city center will be open to cyclists and pedestrians only, though a few main drags will stay open with traffic slowed to 20 mph. Certain vehicles will be permitted to enter the partitioned parts of the city, including emergency vehicles, public transportation, taxis, delivery vehicles, and residents of those blocks.

Mayor Anne Hidalgo hopes to make La Journée sans Voiture an annual event. Hidalgo has become known for her progressive approach to pollution in the French capital and has continually pushed measures for car reductions, increases in pedestrian and cycling incentives, and efforts to reimagine public spaces with an eye toward sustainability. There’s even a cold hard cash incentive of $450 to ditch your vehicle.

The inaugural event was organized in conjunction with Paris Sans Voiture (Car-Free Paris), a self-described “citizen collective” and will happen a few months ahead of COP21, the United Nations’ annual climate conference, which will be held in Paris this year.

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Low on Gas? You Can Now Get It Delivered to You
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If you live in a major city, there’s virtually nothing you can’t get delivered straight to your house. Forget groceries and takeout; you don’t even have to get yourself to the gas station anymore. As Lifehacker reports, there’s a service that will fill up your tank for you while your car is parked in your driveway.

Yoshi, an app-based service that brings car care to you, is currently available in more than 10 different cities across the U.S. It not only sells fuel-ups on demand, but also offers oil changes, car washes, repairs, tire checks, and other basics of car maintenance.

To fuel up, you plug in your car’s location on the Yoshi app and set up a delivery. Then, all you need to do is make sure that your car is in the right place and the door to the gas tank is open, and Yoshi will swoop in and fill ‘er up.

Yoshi sells its gas based on AAA price averages in your area, so the service isn’t as pricey as you might think, though you definitely do have to pay for the convenience. If you’re just looking to occasionally buy gas, Yoshi charges a $7 delivery fee. If you plan to use the service regularly, membership costs $20 a month and includes free fuel delivery every week.

The service is certainly a luxury, but if it’s difficult for you to get to a gas station regularly, that $7 delivery fee could be the difference between a smooth ride and running out of gas.

[h/t Lifehacker]

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Why You Should Never Leave Bottles of Water in Your Hot Car
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Leaving water bottles in your car during summer is a bad idea—and not just because chemicals from the plastic can leach into your water when it gets hot.

A plastic bottle of water can set your car seat on fire if sunlight hits it at just the right angle, according to House Beautiful. If you don't believe that, just ask Dioni Amuchastegui, a battery technician with the Idaho Power Company.

Amuchastegui was sitting in his truck during his lunch break when he saw some smoke out of the corner of his eye. He looked over “and noticed light was being refracted through a water bottle and was starting to catch the seat on fire,” Amuchastegui said in a Facebook video. He recorded the clip to warn others about the dangers of leaving plastic water bottles in hot cars.

He tested it again, and a thermometer held up to the bottle registered a temperature of 213°F. The Midwest City Fire Department in Oklahoma conducted its own test and concluded that the dangers are very real.

"Vinyl generally starts to burn at 455 degrees," David Richardson, of the fire department, tells CBS News. "It wouldn't take very long to start a fire if conditions were right—depends on how focused that beam of light is."

Many people already avoid drinking from bottles left in cars—especially in the winter—due to a widely held belief that freezing or reusing plastic bottles can cause carcinogenic compounds to be released into the water. As Snopes reports, some of these claims are merely urban legends, but there may be some truth to the claim that heat can cause harmful phthalates (environmental contaminants) to leach into the water. The fact-checking agency rated this claim "undetermined."

Regardless, the potential for kindling a fire should provide some incentive to clean out your car and remove any bottles that were tossed haphazardly into the backseat.

[h/t House Beautiful]

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