"Use it up.. Wear it out.. Make it do.. or do without"
An old adage that was a favorite of folks from the depression era. They went through such tough times, most were thrifty, industrious, and incredibly handy. I always thought that if things went south in the U.S. like they did during the depression, folks my Grandparents age would definitely be able to handle it a lot better than the younger folks would.
I can see a definite change in consumerism from when I was a kid to now. My mom used to sew patches on my jeans during the summer, or convert pants that I had outgrown into shorts. I wouldn't get new shoes until the beginning of the new school year. My old man used to re-purpose old product tins and jars for use around the house and garage, and my mom would never let any food go to waste.. even if it meant eating meals made with squash for 5 days in a row.
Now people throw items out that while broken, are still totally repairable. Some folks simply throw away perfectly useable items just because they are a little worn. It's become all too easy to run to the local Wal-Mart and buy more cheap plastic crap, or imported junk. The cheaply made products have considerably less of a life span than products of years past. While I opt to "Use it up, wear it out, and make it work".. you can only get so much life out of an inferior product.
That's why I love buying vintage whenever possible. I own items ranging from thermoses to electric razors that are twenty to forty years old. What's more, these items outperform their modern day counterparts, and will still function properly for decades to come. I recommend doing this if you possibly can. The quality and craftsmanship of older products will no doubt impress you. You may also feel a sense of self worth knowing that your efforts in re-purposing and recycling, can help to keep landfills from filling up with as much garbage and "cheap plastic crap".
The fact that you can get quality products for dirt cheap at thrift stores, flea markets, etc., is icing on the cake!