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People wait in long lines at an H-E-B grocery store in Austin, Texas on February 17, 2021 as millions of Texans are still without water and power as winter storms continue. Montinique Monroe / Getty Images

As the death toll mounts, secondary effects of the Texas grid failure, driven primarily by the failure of gas, coal, and nuclear plants to handle the cold, are becoming apparent.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Pike Electric service trucks line up after a snow storm on February 16 in Fort Worth, Texas. Ron Jenkins /Getty Images

By John Rogers

The Polar Vortex hitting much of the US has wreaked havoc not just on roadways and airports, but also on our electricity systems, as plenty are experiencing first-hand right now. Households, institutions, and communities across the region — and friends and family members — have been hit by power outages, and all that comes with them.

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Xsandra / Getty Images

Looking for ways to cut down on single-use plastic while grocery shopping? You may already have eco-friendly shopping bags, but bringing your own reusable produce bags is another easy swap.

According to the UN Environment Program, up to 5 trillion single-use plastic bags are used globally each year, and because of the material they're made from, most municipal recycling centers don't accept them (more on this below).

The most sustainable option is to skip the bag altogether. You can also make your own reusable produce bags out of old T-shirts. But if you'd rather purchase them new, here are our recommendations for the best reusable produce bags on the market today.

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A frozen Niagara Falls in Ontario, Canada is an example of the polar vortex influencing extreme weather. Seyit Aydogan / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

By Zachary Lawrence and Amy Butler

At the start of February 2021, a major snowstorm hit the northeast United States, with some areas receiving well over two feet of snow. Just a few weeks earlier, Spain experienced a historic and deadly snowstorm and dangerously low temperatures. Northern Siberia is no stranger to cold, but in mid-January 2021, some Siberian cities reported temperatures below minus 70 F. Media headlines hint that the polar vortex has arrived, as if it were some sort of ice tornado that wreaks wintry havoc wherever it strikes.

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A woman makes her way along Calle Arenal during an unusually heavy snowfall on January 9, 2021 in Madrid, Spain. Pablo Blazquez Dominguez / Getty Images

By Hannah Fuchs

Let's not waste time. You will need: warm clothes, plenty of firewood and enough supplies (flour, yeast, toilet paper — the usual) to not have to leave the house for the next week or two.

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Jennifer A. Smith / Moment / Getty Images

By Brenda Ekwurzel

When temperatures hit the 80s Fahrenheit in May above latitude 40, sun-seekers hit the parks, lakes, and beaches, and thoughts turn to summer. By contrast, when temperatures lurk in the drizzly 40s and 50s well into flower season, northerners get impatient for summer. But when those 80-degree temperatures visit latitude 64 in Russia, as they just did, and when sleet disrupts Mother's Day weekend in May in Massachusetts, as it just did, thoughts turn to: what is going on here?

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Air temperatures at 4 a.m. EST on Jan. 29, 2019. NASA Earth Observatory

During bouts of extreme weather, we always turn to our beloved meteorologists to analyze, forecast and report these events.

So you know it's really cold outside when trusted weather experts, like Minneapolis's Chris Shaffer of WCCO-TV, dedicate The Weeknd's "Can't Feel My Face" to Mother Nature amid temperatures that feel like the negative 30s, 40s and 50s.

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