Basically, I didn't like the list of add-in ingredients to the conventional non-stick sprays (I mean, I just wanted to spray oil into my pan - just oil). And, the oils in most sprays were questionable too. I ended up trying out a bottle of 100% extra virgin olive oil spray but at a hefty price increase. I decided that it wasn't worth it to be spending the money on this particular product but I didn't exactly have an idea of what I would do without the non-stick spray in my kitchen. I did find a re-usable ulterior option that you can purchase and refill with oil of your own choosing at home. The cheapest refillable oil spray bottle I found was ten dollars. I really wanted a better option.
As far as the paper towels go, I gave those up for the shear reason that I could very well do without thank-you-very-much and save some green while I was at it (yep, the green I'm concerned about is the green left in my pocket ☺). It came down to the fact that paper towels were convenient and I just needed to get over myself and learn to make do without. So, I have a nice, lovely stack of fabric napkins and a nice, lovely stack of dish rags and cleaning rags at my disposal to clean any number of places that I'd normally use paper towels. And, the answer is "No," we did not give up all paper products - nor do we plan to. Paper napkins and paper towels were just the two most practical non-essentials to give up for our family and I'm sure we save money by not using them.
The question is, how do I grease my pans now? I can't spray it on. I can't wipe it on with a paper towel. Meet the pastry brush. The utensil I've left in the drawer for a long, long time because I never seemed to need it. But, that was before I figured out how useful it can be.
How do I do it? I just place a small amount of oil (you can always add more so its best to err on the lesser-side) in a small dish and start brushing away at the pan to oil it up. It works great! And, there are no weird add-in ingredients! I've oiled up muffin tins, cast iron skillets (for baking), and cake pans with this method and have had great results. I just use whatever oil I have on hand (olive oil, coconut oil, or grapeseed oil - my new fav!).
P.S. I'm not going to kid myself and pretend I am the first person who's ever used a pastry brush to oil a pan but, honestly, this just came to me in the kitchen one day - because I make A LOT of muffins! If you've been using this method for a long time feel free to share! I truly hope I was able to inspire someone by sharing my new oiling method. ☺