The Circular Economy and Your Money with Ron Gonen – EP 314

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Did you know that most marketing companies in the US during the early 1950s focused heavily on recycling materials? In today’s linear economy, most companies push customers to buy convenient yet unnecessary things that are easily disposed of. Let’s change our ways as we learn more about the Circular Economy, its impact on our environment, and how you can save money by engaging in it! This interview with Ronen Gonen answers how we can aim at practices in which we can be financially and environmentally responsible. 

If you do a great job recycling or reusing, your tax burden would be very low as you’re not sending anything to the landfill.


  • Basic Bombshells. The obvious alternative name for the Frugal Friends Podcast has sponsored this episode today. We’re just out here cutting expenses that don’t matter and spending where we value and looking fire. And if you want to cover more basics, we HIGHLY recommend Chloe’s FREE INVESTING CLASS ‘coz it’s not just about saving and spending. It’s also about investing and if you feel like you could use some more info and understanding on this topic, this one’s for you!

Ron Gonen is the CEO of Closed Loop Partners, the first investment firm dedicated entirely to financing companies that solve problems with circular solutions. Here we ask him all about his approach to investing and how we can aim at practices that are both financially and environmentally responsible.

Discovering Circular Economy

Ron’s first job was to work with one of the first green architects in America, and he learned a lot of principles about sustainable design. This began his passion for starting a career in sustainable business practices (i.e., circular economy) and financial recurrence. The circular economy is developing manufacturing systems where you can manufacture the products that we all want without the dependence on natural resource extraction and disposal of products in landfills.

The Cost of a Linear Economy

The linear economy is costing us because of the extraction of natural resources to manufacture when we could just use recycled material and how we dispose of products in landfills. Ron adds that there are also less obvious impacts, such as its harmful effects on our environment–pollution, health issues, and transportation of waste to landfills causes damage to our road highways

The Shift in US Marketing Strategies

Ron dated to the early 1950s when many marketing strategies focused on quality over quantity and recycling waste as a patriotic tribute to the country. People then had to be careful of extracting natural resources to manufacture products because it harmed the environment. It won’t be too good for our national defense to depend on those resources. However, post-1950s, some major industries made a concerted effort to change their messaging from quality to the customers’ status directly connected to how much stuff they have. They began pushing costs on consumers and disposals of unnecessary products. Living a sustainable life is much healthier for you and your family–and you can save a lot of money! 

Small Changes Towards a Bigger Change

Different people have different interests, and Ron advises those who are politically active to create an opportunity to go to their local political officials and ask about how much the municipality is spending on landfills. Get engaged around the issue of manufacturing in the US. While for the homebody who wants to do the right thing for the environment and save money, ensure you’re recycling! Learn how to recycle and differentiate your waste, such as your food waste for composting. When you’re at the market, research the products you’re buying. Make sure you’re using as much recycled content as possible. Understand the materials that are being used. Try to shop responsibly that is aligned with your values.  

What are you doing to be more circular?

  • Ron: Builds an investment firm supporting circular economy entrepreneurs. He’s excited about HomeBiogas, an Israel-based firm that developed a household anaerobic digestor.
  • Jill: Brings her own bag to the grocery store’s produce section and mends her clothing instead of buying new ones.
  • Jen: Discovered a grocery store near her that would recycle grocery bags. She would hoard grocery bags and take them to them. Also, she tries to buy secondhand clothing.

Get more from Ron

Bill of The Week

Thank you Ron for sharing your bill about Bill Moyers who produces exceptional documentaries (for example “The Power of Myth” about Joseph Campbell)!

Thanks so Much for Listening!

Thanks so much for listening. We love love love reading your kind reviews and we especially loved this one.

Nonjudgmental Financial Advice

I love how affirming the hosts are. So many personal finance spaces rely on shame to motivate their audience but Jen and Jill focus on learning about yourself and your values. I appreciate when they talk about “seasons” of life and acknowledge that priorities change over time.

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