There is a website, thereifixedit.failblog.org featuring solutions to broken items. Some of them are pretty funny, most of them unsafe and as my kids would say "ghetto". I thought about that yesterday when I started vacuuming. Recently, the plastic clip which hods the canister in place broke. This old shoelace works just fine.
When I was growing up, broken items were repaired not thrown away. Sometimes you use what you have on hand either because you are out of glue or the part isn't available. We had a dryer with a knob that had to be pulled out to start the cycle. The plastic knob cracked and fell off leaving a screw that was hard to grip. We added a nut to the end of the screw - problem solved. My father was very handy with any kind of tool and kept our house, what was inside and our car in working order. The only thing I can think of that he didn't repair was our TV. Yes, TVs were repaired, not replaced (I know it is shocking). I remember going with him to the repair shop to test the tubes and buying the one that needed to be replaced. One time the TV repairman came to our house and took the entire inside of the TV with him and brought it back in a week.
It saddens me that items are just tossed aside, that they are made so cheaply it isn't practical to repair them. But we do try at our house. We are pretty frugal by nature and try to use items as long as possible - we squeeze as much of the toothpaste out as possible and then cut the tube for one last brushing - the same for lotion in a tube. We add water to the shampoo bottle to get one more use - the same for dish soap. I mend tears in clothes and sewed patches on Nathan's jeans when he was little.
We found it is cheaper to go the the thrift stores and buy nearly new crutches and use the rubber padding from them than it is to buy the replacement pads. So what do you do with the leftover crutch? You replace the broken handle on your plunger. I think this is being practical. My kids say ghetto - what do you think?