This is a great tip from the Greening Committee of St. Thomas's Day School in New Haven, CT:
By not using the dry cycle in your dishwasher, you save both energy and cash. Save 15-50% of dishwasher energy usage and as much as $25 per year on your electricity bill.
If you run your dishwasher in the evening, the dishes will air-dry by the morning. Ditto if you run the
dishwasher in the morning and empty it in the afternoon.
If you find they are still unacceptably wet, open the dishwasher door slightly after the cycle is finished or prop the door ajar by pulling the top rack out just a tad.
If you have to empty the dishwasher immediately after running it, put a dish towel on your countertop adjacent to the dishwasher. Place wet items on the towel to sop up any remaining water before putting dishes away.
If 10,000 people do not use their dishwashers' drying cycle, in one year the CO2 averted will have the effect of planting 3,343 trees. Think about that!
To add one more item to that, a folding wooden dish rack sitting atop that towel or on drain sheet is hard to beat as a drying tool for a few dishes at a time. It seems almost absurd to have to point that out. People have been using such dish racks for centuries, and many of us still do. But there are also plenty of people who think nothing of running a full dishwasher cycle to deal with a few items from the breakfast table. Those items could be cleaned easily with a drop of dish soap and a quart or two of water, and left in the rack to dry.~ Doug Logan, New Energy Watch