We hand wash our dishes because we don't make many dirty ones and space in the kitchen is tight. But this got us thinking: How To Green Your Dishwasher explains that efficiently using your dishwasher actually out-greens hand washing. In fact, the article says, "Using a fully-loaded dishwasher, without pre-rinsing, uses on average 35% less water than hand-washing all of those dishes.
Another way to green up your dishwashing: get a new dishwasher. Replacing a 1994 dishwasher with a current model can save $25 in energy costs and 1,000 gallons of water annually.
Check out the link above for more info on how to save water, reduce energy use, and cut down on the chemicals in this common household chore.