I hang-dry a lot of clothes. Not only do I save quarters, but I also help conserve electricity. Plus, my clothes last longer and the colors stay brighter. Not to mention the pleasant aroma of fresh laundry that wafts throughout my apartment.

-- Meg Ivers

I'm a quilter and sewer and do laundry, of course. I use the "used" dryer sheets to stuff pillows, dolls, etc. It's surprising how soon a bag accumulates near my dryer -- less to throw out and a nice scent in the stuffed articles.

Jeanne Niemczyk, Des Plaines

On these warm sunny days, I hang laundry outside rather than run the dryer. The sunlight does a better job whitening baby diapers than toxic bleaches, and it's a great excuse for the children and I to get out for some fresh air in the back yard.

-- Laurie Yoder, Plainfield

Ok, not a new idea but even Martha Stewart is encouraging people to line dry their clothes! I have been doing it for years (my dryer comes out only in winter time). I think people would be pleasantly surprised at the sweet, fresh smelling laundry which can't be had from a dryer. Might also be pleasantly surprised at a lower utility bill each month!

-- Maggie, St John

Rather than using the dryer any more than necessary, do an initial dryer run, then promptly hang the clothes from the dryer. When washing clothes, use the rinse water to do a quick floor mop.

-- Julie Pietrzak, Palos Heights

We always have a stack of plastic wrap when I pick up our dry cleaning. To try and recycle I take two of the dry cleaner's plastic shirt cover bags and place them inside each other and then take a little duct tape over where the hanger hole isÂ…. and use that for my liner in my office and garage waste can . I also keep them in the car trunk for misc uses and sometime that comes in handy when I need a quick trunk liner or make shift rain cover. Being a bit of a germophobe I always put it on plane and movie seats! My wife also uses them to wrap our winter sweaters when put away for the summer. I can always find weird uses for them if I give it enough thought and keep em handy.

-- David

Why use paper napkins? I haven't used them in years. Use cloth napkins and throw them in the next load of laundry. Saves trees and money.

-- Val Zalewski, Oak Lawn

Instead of washing bed sheets every week (once every seven days), I stretch the length of time between changing the sheets to nine days. This means I wash sheets 41 times in a year instead of 52 and save water and cleaning supplies. Stretching the time a day or two isn't likely to sacrifice cleanliness. If I'm ill, I wash sheets more often.

-- Verie Sandborg, Deerfield

I buy the 16 oz. bottles of water and recycle the bottles by filling them with liquid laundry detergent. I buy detergent in the very large containers when on sale and when I have a coupon and then fill the small bottles. This is easy to do as there is a spigot on the large container and it saves substantially on the cost. The small bottles are easy to transport to the laundromat and can be disposed of when empty. You can also do this with granular detergent by using a funnel.

-- Ann Bruce, Chicago

Hang out wash, even in winter. Great humidifier indoors.