We do it every year, and happily so. A Christmas tree is a must, and so we head to the local lot and walk through the makeshift aisles of pre-cut trees in search of the perfect one. Or maybe we head a little farther out to cut our own. Once found, the tree is tied to our car and off we go, to wrestle it into a stand, shimmy it through the front door, and hope we remember to water it. After the holidays, we drag the once-vibrant-now-browning tree to the curb and vacuum up the trail of fallen needles.
It is hard to imagine Christmas without a rich smelling conifer, but it is also hard to ignore how unsustainable the system is: the tree is grown a thousand miles away, shipped here, driven to its destination, briefly enjoyed, and then discarded. Thankfully, here in Los Angeles and elsewhere, there is another option - a living Christmas tree.