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To Exist Ethically — by Katie Lambert

Written by Leslie Kim

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Posted on September 12 2020

Hey friends! It's the weekend, and if you're living anywhere along the Western United States, you're probably not getting outside this weekend at all. The air quality is awful and the best we can do is stay indoors. It's hard for folks who love being outdoors to see so much of our beloved forests burning right now.

If you don't already know, this is the last week of our #ExistEthically campaign. For one month, we've been asking members of our community to chime in on what that phrase means to them. We know it'll mean something a little bit different to everyone, and we want to know what steps you have to share so we can all learn from each other.

We asked pro climber, nutritionist, and founder of Sacred Rok, Katie Lambert what her thoughts were on Exist Ethically. Keep reading to learn more! 


To Exist Ethically….

by Katie Lambert

Katie Lambert Dynamite Starfish Exist Ethically
Katie Lambert. Photo by Ben Ditto.


This is no small feat in the “westernized world,” of material goods, energy consumption, and industrialized food. Every single thing we do, and even think makes an impact in some way. Tug at one thing and you find it connected to the whole – form the self, to others to the environment at large.

Thus, to truly try and exist ethically one must take in the whole picture, one must aim to live in a holistic way.

For me, this comes down to an analysis of three main things:

1) How am I nurturing myself?

Am I drinking good, clean water? Am I eating good, clean food? Am I being kind to myself? Am I resting when I feel tired? Am I challenging myself in positive ways?

2) How am I nurturing others?

Am I creating enriching relationships? Am I helping when I can? Am I doing work that benefits a greater good? Am I speaking out when I see unjustness, abuse, manipulation, or general wrongs?

3) How am I nurturing the environment?

Am I engaged in activity that betters or harms the nature around me? Am I promoting good stewardship amongst my community? Do I really need to drive? Do I really need to purchase? Do I really need to have the lights, air, heat on?

In my day to day, I must go through these things innumerable times. I bike when I can, I carpool when I can. I resole my climbing shoes over and over again. I use 80m ropes so I can just keep cutting them down over time to be 70m, 60m, 50m, 40m – this way I get a longer life out of them and don’t have to keep getting ropes.

I support local food systems (from locally raised beef, lamb, and dairy to vegetables and fruit grown in the Owens Valley), this is better for me, my community, and the environment at large. I pick up trash when I see it, and I talk to people about the importance of leaving our nature spaces clean. When I travel, I’ve been consistently offsetting my carbon footprint.

And I try to reach out into the communities I care about - I work with underserved youth through our nonprofit Sacred Rok to help them develop their own relationship to nature, to themselves and to help bring that love back to their communities – we learn about what it means to nurture the self, each other and the environment and how one not separate from the whole.

To try and exist ethically trickles down throughout every aspect of my daily life – I am not perfect at it, there is still much to do but consistently striving in this way is incredibly important, now maybe more than ever.


Exist Ethically is a collaborative initiative between Dynamite Starfish owner/founder Leslie Kim and Austin Smith, climbing guide. Together, we hope to raise awareness about the steps we can take as climbers to exist a little bit more ethically and reduce our impact on the environment. We must also consider how we treat ourselves and others, since they're all connected.

Get a limited edition tee to hold yourself accountable:

Exist Ethically tee


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