My old earphones started dying the other day; they'd cut out whenever the moulded 3.5mm jack moved. So I cut it off and resoldered a new one, and now they work just fine. If I'd rented (a bad example, I know), they'd probably be sitting in a dump right now because no doubt the economies of scale dictate it's cheaper to simply manufacture a new pair.
Similarly, I live in a rented house with flatmates at the moment, and the things I'd like to do - install a couple of solar panels, run Cat5e through the house (instead of running it down the halls), rig up some neat project ideas I have with an Arduino - I can't, because it's not mine.
I guess my point is that we shape the world we live in, and we can't do that to other people's stuff (at least, not within social norms anyway).
A parallel from my own world. I bought a new truck - only if I buy something that I truly invest in will I care enough about it to care FOR it for the 20 years I expect it to last. I do all the maintenance myself more out of a love-hate relationship with that type of work. But damn it is nice to drop in a new set of speakers or a beefier tow hitch when I get a wild hair up my ass.