Ninety percent of the energy used to wash clothes comes from heating the water. However, you can reduce demand on the hot water heater by washing most clothing in cold water. You will also see less color fading with the clothes. Use hot water for whites, towels, and sheets. Washing sheets in hot water is especially important for killing dust mites. But even with the warmer loads, consider using the hot cycle initially and then using cold water in the rinse cycle. Hot water more effective at killing germs. Cold water can kill germs only if a disinfectant is added to the detergent.
Additionally, you can run 'less delicate clothing' in the delicate cycle which is shorter.
When your old washer eventually 'crashes and burns,' consider getting a front-loading one. These typically use one-third less water or more... and two-thirds less energy.
Drying considerations can also reduce energy usage. Consider separating the clothing by weight.. (Throwing in a pair of jeans with blouses can slow down the entire load.) And if you dry multiple loads consecutively, you are reusing some of the heat from the previous load.
Try using a drying rack or clothes line for special items that take longer to dry.
And finally, don't forget to keep the lint screen clean. A clogged screen will inhibit the moist air from being vented from the dryer. This will cause the dryer to operate less efficiently. Additionally, using a clean lint screen consistently will extend the life of a dryer.