20 Under 40: Emily Reynolds


“There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither.” – Alan Cohen. I am grateful to be receiving this award, and thankful to BRING’s Executive Director, my mentor and friend Carolyn Stein, for nominating me. Dedicated is a word that is often used when talking about mission-driven, non-profit work. As it relates to environmental protection work, some may wonder how one could be so dedicated to a seemingly insurmountable global issue. It is my belief that you cannot sustain dedication without rest. Just as rest is necessary to recharge our personal batteries, sustainability practices are necessary to recharge the health of our planet. Just as overworking ourselves can lead to burnout and long-term health consequences, unsustainable practices can lead to irreversible damage to our environment. I have long believed that rest and sustainability are intertwined, and have made a conscious effort to prioritize rest in my life. I am thankful to work for an organization that understands the importance of work-life balance, and allows me to make time for my physical and mental health. For me that includes spending time in nature, traveling to the PNW’s beautiful places, enjoying live music, and helping friends and family where needed. When we prioritize rest in our personal lives, we can become more mindful of our impacts, leading to more sustainable habits. Similarly, when we prioritize sustainability in our communities, we can create a more balanced and resilient ecosystem that supports the well-being of all.