So, I made do...until I couldn't make do any longer. Once we decided to replace the blender, I considered donating it to a thrift store. I didn't want someone to purchase it thinking it worked perfectly, so I would have added a note about the problem. The thrift stores always ask that we do not donate broken things, so I wondered if (after reading the note) they would have just dumped the blender away. I finally decided to offer it free on Craigslist (noting the problem) + had two offers to come pick it up within minutes. I really wish I could have fixed it myself, but in the end it felt good knowing that it would be useful to someone.
Letting things go responsibly often involves careful thought as to where the item has the best chance of getting used rather than ending up in a dumpster. Dropping off a car load of stuff at the thrift store is often easiest, but that doesn't alleviate us of the responsibility we took on when we decided to purchase all that stuff.