The Financial & Environmental Benefit of a Circular Economy w/ Ron Gonen – EP 173

We’ve talked about sustainability at the micro level, but what about the macro level? How can we make decisions with both our time and money that creates long-lasting benefits? Ron Gonen is here to share about how we can aim at a circular economy rather than a linear one and the benefits this can bring to our communities both financially and environmentally.


  • Your Roth IRA. Yes, yours. That account that holds investments that will grow so you can retire. Do you have one? Even if you don’t plan on investing in it, you should open one to start the clock on the 5-year rule. Google that if you want to. bIf one of the reasons you haven’t started a Roth IRA is because online brokerages like Vanguard and Fidelity overwhelm you, our favorite free alternative is M1 finance, it’s a fee-free robo advisor with many of the same low-cost funds and it’s very easy to use. And if you sign up through and deposit $500 in your Roth IRA, you support the show at no extra cost to you.
  • The Society of Unknown Recyclables. Pizza boxes, Carpet, Batteries, can you recycle them? No one knows. Well fear not, the good people at the society of unknown recyclables know. Pizza boxes? Rip off the greasy part and recycle the clean cardboard. Carpet? Find a carpet reclamation facility to drop it off at. Batteries? Some recycling centers will take them, check with yours. Here at the SoUR our goal is to tell you if that thing can be recycled or not. The Society of Unknown Recyclables, literally just here to tell you to Google it.


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.

  • What is the circular economy and how did you come to be so passionate about it?
    • Circular economy: make → use → reuse → remake → recycle → repeat
  • What is the linear economy costing us as consumers?
    • Linear economy: take → make → use → dispose → pollute
  • Reducing, reusing, and repurposing used to be normal practice for Americans. How did we get so far away from that?
    • Advertising
    • Manufacturers making goods intended to break
    • Obsolescence by desire
  • Most waste is created at a manufacturing level right? So what are some significant things we can do at home and How can we urge more companies to go circular without overspending on sustainable brands (because most of us can’t spare the extra expense to do total zero-waste)
    • for those at home = recycle! Compost food waste
    • for those interest in product design = look up products purchasing and shop responsibly
    • for those interested in investing = invest money in renewable energy, electric vehicles, recycling systems
    • for those politically minded = ask politicians why so much being spent, look for solutions

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)

If you want to submit your bill of the week visit to leave us a bill

Thank you RebateKey sponsoring this week’s bills! It’s a rebate site that works with online retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and Etsy to give you up to 100% cash back on select products… for FREE.  Head to to see all their exclusive deals, click “Buy Product” to purchase on the original retailer’s site, then just enter your order ID on RebateKey to get cash back on your purchase.

Lightning Round 

What we’re doing to be more circular

  • Ron- building a successful investment firm, backing the most sustainable companies – home bio-gas – anaerobic digestor; turns bio solids into energy
  • Jill- not using plastic in the produce section; mending my own clothing
  • Jen- recycle grocery bag;  finding sustainable clothing AND secondhand

Get more from Ron:


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Thanks for listening! See you next week!

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