Not every city or municipality provides waste management recycling services and/or city wide composting, but there are almost always resources available in some capacity. For composting, you are always able to compost in your home, must functionally with vermicomposting (composting w/ worms). This means getting some kind of container, preferably wood, acquiring red worms (not all worms are fit for compost, but you can buy red worms online), and educating yourself on the basic science of composting. As far as recycling goes, if your municipality does not provide a recycling collection service, there are often recycling drop off locations or companies who accept mailings of recyclables. Check with your local waste management provider to see if this is something that is available to you. It is true that there are places where recycling is not offered at all, or certain materials aren’t able to be recycled, and that is simply the result of our system. If that is the case where you live, the best thing you can do is be conscientious about what you are purchasing and make the most responsible choices based on what is available to you. We can’t do everything, but doing anything still matters. Lastly, as far as food goes, you have to decide what is important to you. If you decide to go vegetarian or vegan, look and see if your community has a CSA or local farm that provides seasonal produce. Of course those seasons are much shorter in cold climates, so take up pickling and canning and find unique ways of lengthening the life of your produce. If your goal is reducing emissions and your carbon footprint, you may want to focus on eating seasonally + locally, which means taking advantage of what your cold climate has to offer. Get involved in your community and find out what other people are doing to make their lifestyles more sustainable and see if there is an opportunity for you to start your own organization that will help others do the same.