First, getting your technique down will help a lot. That being said, better blades may help, but better is subjective. Tryablade.com has sample packs available. I'd stick with one blade type until you feel you have technique down, then try a new blade for several shaves with improved technique until you have narrowed it down to what works for you. As for closer, more pressure is NOT the answer. Improved angle and technique is.
are there other things you might do to limit the enviro impact around the house that areny captain obvious?
If you leave chargers plugged in, all of your chargers (phone, computer, etc...) should be plugged into a power strip that gets shut off unless a charger is in use. As chargers are transformers, they are always drawing current, even if they're not charging something.