What makes our “private governance” approach new and different from other ways of thinking about private-sector actions is in transforming isolated voluntary actions by one individual or organization into governance: having influence over the decisions and actions of other people and organizations.
When you do something to reduce your own carbon footprint, that action can affect what others do. If you find that you save money or otherwise improve your life, you may tell your friends, neighbors, and co-workers, and when they hear about how well the action worked for you, they may try it themselves. Sharing information about what has worked for you can amplify the effects of your actions and also help people you know.
If many people in your community become interested in solar energy, but encounter obstacles, such as utility regulations that discourage home solar installations, you can work together to persuade your city or state government to remove those obstacles. If many people in your community want to fix up your houses to make them more energy-efficient, you mat be able to work together to negotiate better prices from suppliers and contractors.
If most people within your social circle adopt responsible behavior about not wasting energy, then peer pressure can become an effective tool to promote responsible behavior: just as nobody wants to be the one person in the neighborhood who has an unkempt lawn or a shabby looking house, nobody will want to be the one person who is wasteful and irresponsible in their energy use.
Through sharing information, working together with your friends and neighbors, and becoming part of an expanding group of responsible energy consumers in your community, you can leverage your own actions to influence others to adopt reasonable measures that save energy and protect the environment.