“We” (being anyone born after the Great Depression) are of the disposable lifestyle. If it’s bad, broken, or doesn’t fit your needs right now, throw it away. My Grandma Jennie was of the old school, Great Depression era, throw nothing away, you might need it later mindset. She had the most impressive collection of rubber bands I have ever seen. She would rinse and reuse paper towels. (sometimes gross, but always frugal). Her motto was Waste Not, Want Not.
I was brought up to try and fix things before tossing them aside. Too many things are designed now with an end-life, or shelf life, or expiration date, you name it. Our culture has moved away from trying to reuse, upcycle, or reinvent things. Only recently (last few years) have I seen maker spaces or fix it forums for do -it yourself-ers. As a parent, I am trying to teach my children to think about things before throwing them away. They now ask if things go in the recycling can or garbage can when cleaning up. That’s a good start. But they also think about how Grandpa can glue most any broken toy, or that Mom can sew some things. And my daughters both have a serious relationship with scotch tape.
I recently read about a fashion designer in New York who uses only scraps to make his line of clothing. His name is Daniel and his company is called Zero Waste Daniel, you can link to information about him here: http://zerowastedaniel.com/
You Tube is the new best friend of the do-it yourself fixer. You can look up how to fix most anything.
Here is a non-exhaustive list of items I have recently fixed (or made myself) in my home:
Wall oven-replaced the heating element-fixed
Drying rack from upcycled crib parts-made
Pea trellis from infant mattress springs -made
Dog bed from infant mattress cover and stuffing-made
Rack to hold gear in garage-made from scrap lumber