When used properly, modern dishwashers are quite environmentally efficient. According to the BBC, dishwashers can reduce water consumption by 80% as opposed to hand washing.
There are additional ways to ensure that your dishwashing is not wasteful environmentally or economically. When you load your dishes, try to avoid pre-rinsing. While sometimes pre-rinsing might be required to clean those tough food stains, try to scrape food off plates and other dishes rather than rinsing them whenever possible. Pre-rinsing can use up to 20 extra gallons of water per load, says Energy Star. And, make sure you only run full loads of the dishwasher. This makes the best use of the dishwasher’s resources; you will use the smallest amount of water necessary to get a good cleaning.
Forgo your dishwasher’s heated dry option; air-drying is far more environmentally friendly. Consider starting your dishwasher before going to bed; that gives your dishes ample time to dry off before the next day. Not using the heated dry option saves about 15% of the dishwasher’s energy usage. Next time you run your dishwasher, think about implementing some or all of these tips to make sure you get the most out of your wash and take the least from the environment