• If your dryer has one, be sure to set it on the “automatic” or “energy preferred” moisture-sensing setting, which turns the machine off when the clothes are dry, so it doesn’t keep tumbling for an extra half-hour if you have forgotten about it.
• Clean your lint trap after every load. The EPA says this simple step can save you up to $34 a year. And don’t forget to check the outside vent periodically, too, for lint buildup.
• Separate light fabrics from heavy ones, and dry them separately.
• Don’t add wet clothes to a load that’s already drying, but do put a dry towel in with a fresh load; it will absorb dampness from other clothes and reduce drying time.
• Buy clothes that don’t need ironing. Not only will you save the earth’s energy, but, as with many of these tips, you’ll conserve your own, too.
Elizabeth Gehrman is a frequent Globe Magazine contributor. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.