"Give yourself a break and know that you are doing your best and continue doing it," Kate Upton advised fellow parents in a chat with PEOPLE

By Jen Juneau Brianne Tracy
February 13, 2020 02:00 PM

Kate Upton is leading with her baby girl in mind.

The supermodel and Polar Bears International ambassador, 27, spoke to PEOPLE in Los Angeles on Wednesday during an event for Canada Goose about how much her partnership with the latter means to her as a mom to 15-month-old daughter Genevieve.

“[Motherhood] made me very passionate about the [environment] because I care about her future,” Upton said. “I want her to have a happy life, and global warming would prevent her from having the future I foresee her having.”

“I’ve always tried to make a conscious effort to be aware and appreciative of our environment,” she continued, “but I think the real call to action is for companies to make major changes [to] their carbon imprint.”

“And for us to use our influence to speak about it and support companies who do care and are aware [of it], like Canada Goose, of their carbon imprint,” Upton added.

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As for how she deals with unsolicited mom-shaming comments on social media, Upton admitted that, surprisingly, “my biggest mom shamer is myself.”

“We’re always trying to be the best we possibly can and that’s why I like to speak out about the subject,” she said. “Because we’re all trying to do our best and be our best, and we need to support each other in those efforts.”

The mother of one, who shares her daughter with husband of two years Justin Verlander, says her “me time” consists of “continuing to work” and “do things that make me feel fulfilled and I know that are hopefully making positive change for [Genevieve’s] future. And I first try to live a healthy lifestyle.”

And as many parents would admit, “there’s no perfect way to find balance,” Upton told PEOPLE. “You always feel like you’re falling short somewhere, but I think just give yourself a break and know that you are doing your best and continue doing it. Don’t put too much on your plate.”

Kate Upton and daughter Genevieve
Kate Upton/Instagram

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Upton plans to “continue supporting” her daughter the best she can as her little girl grows up — and lately, that has included some big mobility milestones.

“She’s running and giggling and she’s really coming into her own personality, which is just the best to see and it’s the most amazing experience,” says the proud mother.

“She’s figured out all the child locks,” Upton jokes in addition. “So we have our hands full.”