The Green Bottle Method
Alexis J. Cunningfolk created the Green Bottle Method, an economic justice tool that enables people to adjust payment based on access to resources. Please be mindful that if you request a price at the lowest end of the scale when you can truthfully afford the higher fee, you are limiting access to those who truly need the financial flexibility.
What is the Green Bottle Method?
According to Alexis, there is necessary consideration around the ideas of sacrifice and hardship when determining how to access services. She offers the following advice for discerning this based on your own unique circumstances:
If paying for a class, product, or service would be difficult, but not detrimental, it qualifies as a sacrifice. You might have to cut back on other spending in your life (such as going out to dinner, buying coffee, or a new outfit), but this will not have a long term harmful impact on your life. It is a sacred sacrifice in order to pursue something you are called to do.
If paying for a class, product, or service would lead to a harmful impact on your life, such as not being able to put food on the table, pay rent, or pay for your transportation to get to work, then you are dealing with hardship. Folks coming from a space of hardship typically qualify for the lower end of the sliding scale.
Breaking it down even further, incorporating the wisdom of Alexis and her own words as guidance, consider the following as you determine which tier you may find yourself in at this point in your life:
This tier reflects the full cost of services. If you have access to financial security, own property or have personal savings, you would not traditionally qualify for sliding scale services. If you are able to pay for "wants" and spend little time worried about securing necessities in your life, you have economic privilege and power in our community. This price is likely for you.
This tier reflects how paying the full cost would prevent some people from being able to attend, but who do not honestly find themselves reflected in either descriptions for Tier 3 or Tier 1. If you are struggling to conquer debt or build savings or move away from paycheck to paycheck living but have access to steady income and are not spending most of your time thinking about meeting basic needs such as food, shelter, medical care, child care, etc., you belong here. If you, however, can ask others for financial support, such as family members, partners, or friends, please consider using those personal resources.
This tier reflects an honest acknowledgment that there are folks whose economic circumstances would prevent them from being able to access services if there was not a deliberate opportunity made for them to access services at a cost that is reflective of their economic realities. If you struggle to maintain access to needs such as health care, housing, food, child care, and are living paycheck to paycheck or are in significant debt, you likely belong here.
Utilizing the Green Bottle Method helps increase access to services. It is an honest, integrity-based offering for those who need it. You are deserving of services and support as much as those who pay the full fee. Please note that even when Tier 1 is prohibitive, payment plans and other solutions are available.