I get that washing dishes by hand is probably more energy efficient than running the dishwasher. But I hate washing dishes, and if I didn't have a husband to pick up the slack, I'd leave mine in the sink for so long that I'd have to fumigate the house eventually. And that just seems like a terrible energy waste, not to mention what the chemicals would do to my kids.
I have to believe that I'm not the only woman out there who adores the convenience of modern appliances, so I'm a fan of dishwashers that don't just waste energy and water all willy-nilly. Because I'm thinking of my sisters in small apartments, or with small families, or whatever. Because I'm thinking of you. Call me a giver.
Haier has two smaller-size dishwashers ideal for cramped quarters or small families. The tabletop unit is small enough to keep on a countertop or put in a closet when not in use, and it's just the right size for singles or couples. It fits four place settings and hooks into the sink via an included adapter. The tabletop dishwasher is 17.37 inches by 19.5 inches by 21.25 inches and can be stored in a closet when not in use. It weighs just over 40 pounds and retails for about $200.
For $100 more, you can get a slightly larger unit (17.37 inches by 19.5 inches by 21.25 inches) that holds six place settings. The space saver also upgrades the interior to stainless steel (its little brother is plastic inside), and it offers a delayed start option and more wash cycle choices than the smaller appliance. This 77-pound unit also comes with casters to make it easier to move when it's not in use. And, like the smaller unit, this one comes with a sink adapter.
The downside? Once you have one of these babies, you have no excuse for that sink full of dirty dishes.